For the bicoastal six-piece Mama Magnolia—vocalist Megan Letts, saxophonist Alex Cazet, guitarist Thomas Jennings, drummer Jackson Hillmer, trumpeter Carrie McCune, and bassist Zach Jackson—the process of making their first full-length Dear Irvington was an essential remedy amidst distress. Following a successfully overfunded Kickstarter campaign, Dear Irvington was a comfort for Mama Magnolia to lean into amidst a continually harrowing time, while also turning tumultuous, personal stories into ostensibly groovy jaunts. They enlisted producer Robert Ellis and former White Denim drummer and engineer Josh Block to help funnel their ideas and further animate their intricate, sometimes nerdy, sophisticated rock compositions. There’s no reservation in diving into the deep end of depression (“Grey”), unpacking the betrayal of a loved one (“Each Time You Lie”), or expressing frustration with another who won’t take a chance on a relationship (“Try Me”). Dear Irvington focuses on empathetic missives, highlighting Mama Magnolia’s emotional maturation to explore complex emotions rather than run away from them.