I’ve waited so long for more people to hear Haggert Mctaggert. Such a comical name is fitting to the slightly whimsical weariness of Braden Lawrence’s solo material. You may recognize him for his other musical contributions as the drummer in The Districts or the guitarist in Straw Hats. But, I think this project is beautifully representative of Philadelphia as a music community. While Braden is an important contributor to both of those groups, his own musical creations have dream-laced textures and abstract lyrics that deserve to have their avenue to shine. Under the careful, colorful production of Keith Abrams (Pine Barons, Tremellow) with saxophone stylings and additional support from Chet Williams (Roof Doctor), Lawrence has compiled a series of heartfelt pop tunes that sway comfortably but burst with vitality.
“2ndDoorFloor” is the perfect introduction to Lawrence as a songwriter. Anchored on an hearty syncopated strums of acoustic guitar, the song’s bones are simple and allow you to engage in the artfully sketched portrait of desperation and exhaustion that the lyrics form. The track spends it’s entirety in a search for relief, filling itself with spiraling layers that reflected Lawrence’s simmering inner turmoil. Heavy but delicate, enunciated but grainy, it’s somewhere between a dream and a nightmare. Either way, it’s worth reliving over and over again.
Here’s a classic low quality photo of Haggert Mctaggert’s first show: