manteye is an independent artist from Toronto, Canada. While listening to his numerous recordings on Soundcloud.com, I was taken by his casual sound and its potential widespread appeal. Band leader Mark Manthei and his quasi-namesake band had a short burst of success in Canada, Europe, and the United States in the 1990’s. Today, his newer tunes sound fresh and vibrant, unlike he is trying to replicate his sound of the past.
The first track, “Kill The Music,” opens with piano builds with electronic drums and a flute. Adding to the ambient atmosphere are Manthei’s vocals, which are comparable to Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October. Throughout the song, a female vocalist adds a subtle beauty, though her voice comes through weaker than the lead. A Soundcloud comment on this song describes it as “soft, soulful, and rich,” which is spot on. This song is perfect to listen to on a rainy day, when there is not much going on, as it allows you to slip away into your own thoughts.
“Pray For Rain” is a pop acoustic song featuring the same rough vocals—another perfect companion to “Kill The Music.” Acoustic music fans take note: manteye fits your record collection perfectly. He is quiet, unpretentious, and refreshing to listen to. It seems as though the intent of his music is to take the listener away.
“Long After John Lennon” is more upbeat and slightly more 80’s and early 90’s influenced, reminiscent of manteye’s successful years in Canada. Almost an arena rock hit, this song sounds like it wants to explode out of the speakers.
Overall, manteye is talented. After reading that the band had only limited success in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, it makes one wonder if he could have had more success outside those territories, perhaps with just a wider distribution and promotion. Such success might have been, given Mark’s well-crafted songs blend together such a vast array of compelling sounds.