Review: Makeshift Shelters, ‘Something So Personal’

Posted 3 years ago by Joel Funk

Written By: Joel Funk Edited By: Caitlin Kohn

Makeshift Shelters: band or musical DeLorean?

That’s a serious question. Obviously, I can acknowledge that both answers are correct, but which of the two is a more suitable descriptor. I find myself going back and forth between the two, so I’ll try to communicate how I feel to the best of my ability in the following. It’s no secret that people will always love the music they grew up with. That’s why we’re seeing ten-year tours doing so well, but imagine if a band could make you actually feel like it was 2005 again. Imagine hearing a band for the first time and being flooded with memories that you simultaneously cherish and despise. This is how I would describe listening to Makeshift Shelters.

The music made by Makeshift Shelters is in a similar vein of Motion City Soundtrack. We’ve got some very real, hyperpersonal lyrics that you can’t help but sing along too. It can come across like a diary with a dreamy pop rock soundtrack that will leave you feeling incredibly young again. When I say young, I mean that you will feel like you’re in middle school again. I can see that being both a pro and a con for Makeshift Shelters, but once you hear Ella start singing, all doubts will be shrugged. I promise.

Everything I’ve mentioned up until this point is what makes their debut album ‘Something So Personal’ such an enjoyable listening experience. I was hooked from the second I heard “Opposite Directions” and I’ve been listening to the record on my own a ton recently. I’m taking solace in the fact that I can listen to it without headphones on and not get a resounding “turn that off!” being yelled from every corner of my house. If we’re going to be talking about the time travel aspect again, just listen to that first riff in “Opposite Directions” and tell me you aren’t pining for some old school All Time Low or The Maine.

The next comparison I’m going to draw may seem a little jarring, but I’m going to need you to bear with me for it. I find myself comparing this band to Candy Hearts a lot. If you know me, you know how I feel about Candy Hearts. But when I listen to Makeshift Shelters, I find myself thinking that this is what Candy Hearts would sound like if they did it right. That comparison really only comes into play when listening to “This Song Is Definitely Not About A Boy,” and even then I find myself just reveling in how fun it is.

One of the real highlights on this album for me was “New Coast.” The song is slower than the rest of the record, shows off a more tender side of the vocals, and has some of the best lyrics on the record. These lyrics evoke the imagery of a sunrise on the coast, and the music itself makes for perfect listening while sitting at the beach in the early hours of the morning. Or at least, what I imagine qualifies a song to be as such.

I also want to note how different this release feels for Broken World Media. I’m all about labels being well-rounded, but I can tell you that I would have never seen this coming. I associate Broken World Media with acts like Sorority Noise and Perspective, and A Lovely Hand To Hold. But with the release of ‘Something So Personal,’ this label is responsible for two of my favorite indie/pop rock bands in the game right now. I’m looking at you, Rozwell Kid and Makeshift Shelters.

So to reiterate the question that got this whole thing rolling, I will happily cop out and say that Makeshift Shelters is both a band and a musical delorean. There are moments on ‘Something So Personal’ that make me wish I could remember the login to my Myspace account, but there are also moments that are just so refreshing. I’ve been saying this band is going to be huge from the second I heard this record play through, and I can’t wait to see how right I was. 4/5