Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New Music Discovery: Animals EP by MAYVE

At My Music, My Concerts, My Life, we get a large amount of unsolicited requests to review new bands. We've always said "no." We want new music discovery to come to us the old-fashioned way—word of mouth. For some reason when MAYVE contacted us and asked if we'd review their new EP Animals, I said "yes." Without even listening to the band first. It's hard to tell if it was a moment of clarity or a change of heart but I was prepared for this to be either good...or a very large mistake. What I wasn't prepared for was what I heard.

First, let's backtrack a little bit. MAYVE is a 5-piece indie pop band hailing from Long Island, NY.  The band is Nick Micheline doing vocals and keyboards, Michael Gusman and Kyle Murphy on guitar, bassist Matt Emma and drummer Joseph Rene. I know nothing more about them other than what they look like.

Which is more than I knew when I first listened to the opening track on Animals. I was at work and was planning to wait until I had undivided attention to apply to my first listen. Then I just said, "Fuck it" and hit play.

I found it very hard to believe that this was a new band. An unknown band. As a matter of fact, had I heard MAYVE in passing, I'd have assumed they were on the local adult alternative station. That is a slippery slope these days. Adult alternative can be faceless. It's easy to sound like a similar product and get lost in the shuffle. That or get labeled as a cheap imitation. This is not the case with MAYVE. Sure, you can hear influences and similarities. They could be of the same ilk as The Griswolds or Coasts yet they're not quite the same. Being a child of the '80s, I heard something familiar—it was the mix of guitars and synth. It was the harmonies. It was combining the dance sensibilities of '80s new wave with the energy of today's pop alternative. Not only did my ears perk up but a co-worker peeked her head around the corner and immediately asked who I was listening to.

I listened to the EP three times straight. From there I moved to the car to pick up my 15-year-old son from wrestling practice and listened to it there. When he got into the car he asked if I was listening to the FIFA 16 soundtrack. When I said "no" he was intrigued. We listened to it again and again.

Every song, although containing a common thread, was unique. Even the slower "Magic" was uplifting.

Everything sounded so familiar without sounding like a replica. Nothing is more comforting than a new twist on familiar nostalgia. It was almost like unearthing a lost record by a favorite band. An old shoe that fits comfortably.

What does strike me as odd is that this band is relatively unknown. And that somehow their DIY, low-budget recording sounds polished and fresh. They have the look and sound that people want but why is it that people don't know about them? They are deserving of a voice—let us be their voice!

I dare you to listen to "Hearts on Fire" and not smile.

You can't do it. Their music makes you dance. It makes you feel good. It's a sunny day or a first kiss. Take a good look at these guys. They are the face of today's indie pop and you're about to see them soon.

What I am curious about is their live show—can they match the energy of their music on stage? I'm hoping for the chance to catch them live and report back to you this year. Tell me, what is better than discovering a new band that you love before they hit the big time? Nothing really. I've learned my lesson—to give new music a chance. Sometimes all they need is a chance. You won't regret it. I didn't.

Animals is available on Spotify and Apple Music. Give it a listen and support these guys if you are in the NY area.

See you when the needle drops!


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1 comment:

  1. Magic was my favorite! Great review! Best wishes for these guys!


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