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Album Review: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness’ latest is stunning, honest soundscape

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness- the umpteenth magical musical brainchild of Andrew McMahon- is already on its fourth studio album. Tilt at the Wind No More is a collection of 11 tracks that find us where we always end up with McMahon- on a journey through soaring highs, painful lows and never shying away from the beauty in our everyday reality.

Throughout McMahon’s extensive career and discography, one thing has never changed and that’s his astonishing ability to put his listeners right into the story he’s crafted and the moment it builds as the song goes on. This album does that from the first lines of “Lying on the Hood of Your Car”, painting the landscape of the stars through our speakers. 

His knack for anthemic, piano-driven tracks continues on “Skywriting” and “Stars”, a beautiful love letter to his family and favorite songwriting inspirations. McMahon composes a soundscape so vivid, you experience the emotions right along with him- especially as he explores the darker sides of his own life on “Built to Last” and “Little Disaster”. 

As we learned in our chat with McMahon in 2022 and through his own memoirs (both in music and book forms), he’s been through an incredible amount of love, loss, trauma and reinvention throughout his life.  His trek through the Wilderness, however, finds him at his most honest, telling vibrant stories and giving advice to his past self on “Nobody Tells You When You’re Young”. 

Listeners have had many tastes of this album through the preview singles and McMahon’s addition of his favorites into recent live setlists but the album as a whole comes to life in a whole new way now that we have the completed picture. For those of us who have been with McMahon through every iteration of his music, Tilt at the Wind No More plays like all of us reaching McMahon’s turning points with him- and in so many ways, we have. Growing up together through these songs has created a bond and an experience that artists and fans dream of and this new album is a more than worthy addition to a lifetime found in this catalog.

Stream Tilt at the Wind No More, out now! 

Story and photo by Olivia Khiel, album artwork courtesy of Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

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