Haligonian three-piece Mauno are getting a strong push from campus radio and it’s easy to see why — their debut, the barely full-length Rough Master, is a lovely piece of contemplative indie that still has the ability to pull out a gutsy moment here and there. Guitarist/singer Nick Everett has already made a name for himself locally in the Maritime scene on the back of several self-released solo projects. In that guise, he reveals an expansive, meticulous sound, akin to the likes of Sandro Perri and Grizzly Bear.
Here, he surrounds himself modestly with bassist/singer Eliza Niemi and drummer Evan Matthews to create a sound that manages to get right to the point, yet still find space for artful sonic abstractions. With only two of the eight tracks coming in at over three minutes, Rough Master can appear to be as unfinished as its title suggests. But the playful dig at the interminable finished/unfinished state of so much of the creative process reveals much of Mauno’s relaxed nature. Everett and Niemi sing with a casual grace and the album’s brevity only makes it that much more enticing to revisit it immediately.