LA based-band Mini Trees is really the solo effort of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lexi Vega. Raised by musician parents, Vega started young, and her talents are well-showcased on Always In Motion, the debut full length album released under the Mini Trees name (now out on Run For Cover Records). Previous single and EP releases have paved the way for these ten tracks, as well as Vega’s experience as a drummer in various bands.
This genre may be widely described as “bedroom pop,” but Mini Trees is self-described as “living room pop” which honestly fits better. The music is open and airy, more suited for lying on a couch beside a sunny window with curtains fluttering in the breeze, rather than curled up in bed sleeping. Here I’m reminded of Grouper, or maybe Hanne Hukkleberg.
Right from the start, with lead track “Moments In Between,” listeners are treated to ethereal soundscapes and lovely melodies. The music is never untethered, however — Vega’s bonafides as a drummer are very evident here. The production by Jon Joseph is glassy rather than glossy, light scattering across musical panes without ever being slick.
Mini Trees at Beacon Theater (photo by Kate Hoos)
“Everyone’s nervous these days,” Vega sings on the second track “Doomsday,” and it’s a feeling captured throughout. There is a tremulous quality in the vocals and lyrics, in contrast to the surefootedness of the music, and it works very well. There is probably a lot going on in these tracks — I’ve never managed to comprehend programming synths or beats, it seems like magic — yet Vega manages to make it all sound so simple, her beautifully layered vocals coasting along waves of synth and guitar.
On the final track, Vega tells us “there’s no certainty until we reach the end,” yet the end of the album feels like a comma, rather than a period. Vega says of this (on the Mini Trees Bandcamp page): “Over the course of the album I teeter-totter between having questions and wanting answers, but the resolution is to be okay with not knowing.” Throughout the album, Vega uses the songs on Always In Motion to explore themes of identity, faith and perseverance.
Our Editor in Chief, Kate Hoos, recently caught Mini Trees live opening for Julien Baker; Vega performs with support, in this case another musician holding down the sampler. You can catch the next New York date on December 7 at Trans-Pecos, or check out the rest of the tour dates here.
Find Mini Trees on:
Always In Motion is out now on Run For Cover Records and is available on all major streaming platforms.