If you’ve ever wondered what the weight of the world actually feels like, look no further than A Mirror Brightly, the latest from Geographer. In the time since his previous album, the gorgeously rueful Down and Out in the Garden of Earthly Delights, Mike Deni, the atmospheric-pop act’s frontman, has assumed the role of thinking man’s anthropologist. Here, he’s picking through the wreckage around us in a world increasingly ensnared in everything from religion to social media. And he’s got some things to say about it.
“I focused on my experience moving through the world: feeling like an outcast, being denied love in its many forms, and struggling to find meaning in an existence that looked increasingly like a void the more I peered into the glass,” Deni says. Although A Mirror Brightly (out February 23, 2024, Nettwerk Records) is indeed deeply personal, it’s not simply autobiographical like his previous releases. “This record takes that existential shock but explores it through humanity as a whole, rather than just me as an individual.”
The title, Deni explains, “refers to the lights of the phone shining in our eyes, blinding us to ourselves, obscuring the truth.” As much as A Mirror Brightly isn’t afraid to ask all the questions, it can be luminescent, too. “It also refers to the beauty of this life. That is the glimmer of hope on the record. It leaves the option open that one day we might turn the light back away from our faces to illuminate the darkness that surrounds us.”