Chattanooga musician/visual artist Tony Mraz has spent time in a number of local bands, with each finding suitable space for his unique talents. Recently, he teamed up with bassist Davis Nothere, guitarist O’Neal Dover and drummer Eric M. Crisp to create Mayor Iguana, a laid-back assemblage of sun-soaked melodies and wistful guitar progressions that evoke evenings spent on shaded beaches and day trips along the coast. There’s a loose indie rock vibe here that doesn’t lay its roots in any one spot but opts for something a bit more transient.
The band is so new in fact that there’s no real information on them besides a skeletal Facebook page and the scant details that fill their Bandcamp page. But sometimes that information is immaterial to your enjoyment of a song or an album. And in the case of Mayor Iguana, the not-knowing doesn’t impede your ability to simply lay back and absorb these comforting sounds that seem to sink down into the deepest part of your body.
On their debut single, “Valentine’s Day,” the band eschews any sense of cynicism and focuses on the base elements of the song: love and the ways it can keep us going. By opening the song with the line “down with all the bad influences,” they embrace the joy of affection as they step away from its darker impulses. The track rambles along at an unconcerned gait, casting off any expectations and simply rolling along where the wind blows it.
The guitars shimmer and shake, creating a gently loping momentum that’s aided by the easygoing percussion. This is a song entirely obsessed with the zigzagging journey to its end and not so much with its conclusion. It would probably be happy to keep going long past its 3-minute runtime, finding new ways to speak to its romantic heart and jovial personality. That melody creeps up on you slowly, and you’ll be humming it before you know what’s going on. It’s a catchy little wonder that rattles around in your head, and it’s one that you never really want to let go of.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.