Review – Lover In Hiding by My Pet Dragon

We are happy to present to you our newest guest columnist-on-the-block, Vivek Nenmini! 🙂 He starts off with this review. Read on..

my pet dragon screenWhen I first heard of ‘My Pet Dragon’ I thought it was an interesting potential sequel-title to that animated movie about Vikings and serpentine creatures released a few months ago- How to Train Your Dragon. Casting aside movie and mythical aspersions, My Pet Dragon’s maxi-single ‘Lover in Hiding’ is a mélange of contemporary sounds and voices- genre bending, covering a range from art rock to alternate.

Todd Michaelsen (vox, guitar, keys, programming) and Reena Shah (vocals, percussion) an Indian dancer/actress bumped into each other while exploring and experiencing the heady art rock scene of Brooklyn. A shared passion for music and art, roughing it out in a cold-water flat in Bushwick, Brooklyn and a cultural and romantic awakening in India later the couple formed My Pet Dragon (MPD). Rajeev Maddela (drums), Vincent Mascolo (guitar) and Mario Padron (bass guitar) complete the current line-up.

Their first album First Born received a cult underground following by rock fans and DJs including some air time on BBC Radio. It also caught the Indian American producer, composer and musician Karsh Kale’s attention, for whom Todd wrote and sang three songs on the album Broken English (2006). Todd also appeared on the Breathing Under Water (2007) album a joint release by Karsh and Anoushka Shankar. In 2009, another collaborative effort saw Todd composing the score and original songs for the brilliant multi-award winning animated feature film Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley. Reena not only voiced the title character but also choreographed and performed the dance sequences which were rotoscoped for the animation. Most recently in May 2010, MPD was one of the winners of the FUZZTOPIA and ESPN NASCAR NOW contest, which had fans and viewers rooting for the song Lightning Inside.

The recently released single features the title track in four variants and two other tracks- Between Us and New Nation. Lover in Hiding opens with a lilting guitar and drum exchange into which Todd erupts with his frenetic guitar and soaring vocals. Evoking clandestine yet joyful meetings it is a mid-tempo strummer which gets you up onto your feet and clapping along in no time. Between Us runs through a hypnotic drum-synthesizer loop and talks about the ‘energy/chemistry buzzing’ between a couple “that Science hasn’t found”. Todd’s vocal range is at once immense and intense in the anthemic New Nation a hopeful paean to a new world order devoid of guns, fights and divisions.

With MPD’s eclectic mix of styles and discerning lyrics, ‘Lover in Hiding’ is an excellent primer to their full length album scheduled to be released later this year.

You can download ‘Lover in Hiding’ at the My Pet Dragon official website–  and listen to more on MySpace