Thursday, April 08, 2010

mae (a)fternoon

New mae album dropped last week.

It's entitiled (a)fternoon. I love mae, so I bought it without even previewing it. I know it's good.

If you're not familiar with mae (elephant in the room: yeah, it's intentionally lowercase), they are a clean and fresh sounding band from Virginia Beach that have been making music for almost 10 years.

I remember my good buddy Daniel made me listen to a track of theirs when we were freshman or sophomores in college, and I immediately dismissed it, because "the singer sounded wimpy." The song I heard / dismissed was Embers and Envelopes from 2003's "Destination: Beautiful."

Little did I know that "Destination: Beautiful," although admittedly lightweight, would become a major foundation for my own songwriting and guitar playing. You can even catch me playing "Tisbury Lane" on one of my YouTube guitar demos.

After "Destination: Beautiful" came "The Everglow." I would liken "The Everglow" to...I don't know, let's say the first time you got drunk. And I mean the verrrrrry first time. You had some expectation of what it would be like, but then HO-LEE-SHIT-NO-WAY!

  Pictured: how I felt when I heard "The Everglow" for the first time.

This album raised the bar for my expectation of what music can be --- in terms of both songwriting and performance. The songwriting is basically inexplicable - it combines melodies that stick with you like glue, but with authentic depth; a layering of instrumentation that betrays the group's small lineup. It's like a Ferrari that can tow a boat.

Back to (a)fternoon --- it's the second in a timed-release series of concept albums --- the first one of which was (m)orning, a few months back, and this one is (a)fternoon --- it's weird, there are 8 tracks on each one, and the track 1 from morning has commonalities with track 1 on afternoon, and so on. I am really digging the vibe though. With (m)orning, I hated it for a month, was honestly a little disappointed, then a switch flipped and I loved it.

There's a lot of great guitar tone and recording on this album. SUPER clean, and there's a lot of acoustic guitar doubling electric guitar parts, which I love. His signature electric sound has come int its own, clearly carving out a definition of "Firebird into a VOX."

"Communication" is a standout for me, with such great lyrics I want to write them down and frame them.

Hit the Amazon link up top to preview the album, then buy it if you think it's your spring jam. I just became an "Amazon Associate," which is a setup that allows me to make a buck or two if you actually buy some of the music I'm recommending (from the links / badges I post here). I wanted to let everyone know, so you don't feel like I'm sneaking one in on you. I want to be clear that I have no intent of turning TLA into a money factory, just hoping that eventually I can make enough bucks to register a domain name and get some hosting space for the blog and expand the content to include stuff like podcasts with cool playlists, etc.

So preview the new mae album --- if you're anything like me you'll love it --- and if you're new to mae, you may have just found your new favorite band.


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