BOSTON/NE BANDS, Fresh Stream, Music

Casually Introducing Mingko: A Reminder of Just How Good Indie Can Be


© Abigail Zachko


ON SATURDAY, SEPT. 10, 2022, Brighton’s DIY Venue, Pasta Planet, provided a space to witness the magical debut of Mingko — guitarist and singer Abigail Zachko’s latest musical endeavor.

The set opened with one of my favorite moments of the night: a breakbeat track slickly transitioning into the song “Party,” a complex and extremely tasteful piece with unexpected hits that guided the music in a wide variety of directions. Throughout the night, one could hear elements of math rock, pop, hardcore, an entire song dedicated to Shakey Graves — a plethora of soundbites from Mingko’s influences. While the group already has a distinctive sound, it will be fascinating to see where it goes as the band settles in as they continue to play shows.

Born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey, Zachko’s career has included touring with the pop artist Mura Masa, playing in the self-proclaimed “trad-jazz post-punk Americana new wave psychedelic funky junky jam band” Ski Club, as well as the group Chunk Child (new single “FU2” releasing September 17th), and now “Mingko,” a fusion of their middle name, Ming, and last name, Zachko.

In talking to Zachko, I was able to learn about the creation of Mingko, and its place in their artistic development. As a mostly guitar and instrumentally-focused musician in the past, they began singing more and more often in Ski Club, and the project of Mingko now sits on the other side of that bridge, where the music lives in a more lyrical space. For artists who come from an instrumental background, that leap is a rather large one. With so much time spent honing your voice on whatever instrument you play, it can be a large challenge to hone your actual voice. I’m happy to inform you that this leap is one Zachko has made with grace, thanks to her voice’s dreamy timbre and relatable lyrics about love, anxiety, and missing the people once close to us.

Holding it down on second guitar, we were all lucky enough to catch Boston born-and-bred Nathaniel Baron, alumni of the Brookline Community Teen Band. His hardcore guitar stylings (and hair to boot) provided a wild stage presence that was a pure joy to watch. The rich tone coming out of his guitar added a beautiful layer to the fabric of Mingko’s sound. Both the bassist and drummer of the group, Simon Safran and Sebastian Salazar, respectively, were entirely animated as they played and gave the music yet another added bounce. Safran described their experiences playing music to me as catharsis. Simply put, they said, “I play because it makes me happy.” I find this statement to be a simple and always true reminder to all artists out there to do what brings them joy. This showed on stage—Safran was entirely immersed in the set the entire way through, and looked to be in a totally different universe than the rest of us. This universe is one that I think we should all try to explore, musician or not.

I’d highly recommend catching a Mingko show before it gets really difficult to find tickets. Their upcoming shows are at Democracy Center on Sept. 22, and at Tourist Trap on Oct. 29.


© Ryan Wheless


The band members can be found on Instagram here:
Abigail Zachko: @abigailzak
Nathaniel Baron: @rubric_shawty
Simon Safran: @simonsafran
Sebastian Salazar: @zar.seb
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