Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)
The year between the release of Meernaa’s 2018 Strange Life EP and the band’s first full-length album, Heart Hunger, was a time of emotional extremes: frontwoman Carly Bond unearthed a long-hidden family trauma, married Meernaa keyboardist Rob Shelton, and delved deep into her own spirituality through herbalism studies. Heart Hunger mirrors that complex blend of joy and hurt—Bond’s voice betrays an ache, but her songs don’t dwell or drag; instead they’re urged forward by a driving, bluesy rhythm section. Heart Hunger doesn’t fit neatly into a single genre, effortlessly jumping from synth-heavy soul to borderline ambient. Playful tracks like the echoing “Ridges” and “Black Diamond Mine,” an eight-and-a-half minute number that pivots between time signatures, are interspersed with comparatively straightforward indie-blues slow jams like “Wells.”
Heart Hunger feels overwhelmingly organic. With layered compositions that take inspiration from the bluffs and ridges of the band’s Oakland home base, Meernaa create an expansive sound grounded in the spaciousness of West Coast scenery. The band’s reverb-soaked compositions resonate in a way that calls to mind open air, their instrumentation complex but not crowded. Bond’s vocals flow through these works like watercolor paints, seeping into the cracks in the songs’ layered arrangements, making Heart Hunger a fully immersive listen.