My Top 18 Records of 2018. #16. Mae – Multisensory Aesthetic Experience

16) Mae – Multisensory Aesthetic Experience


It’s been eleven years since we had a full length Mae record, and no one has looked forward to it more than me. These guys defined my college years with the release of The Everglow back in 2005 (along with Anberlin’s Never Take Friendship Personal – man, what a fantastic year for music with staying power!).  Their follow up, Singularity, was slightly experimental, but it was their following (M)orning, (A)fternoon, and (E)vening EPs that took that experimentation to a while new level, and hinted even stronger that a new Mae was emerging.  Kaleidoscope, which kicks their new record off,  proves it once and for all. The Everglow is far, far in the rearview mirror for Dave Elkins and crew in 2018. It begins with an almost 2AM restrained EDM beat, which then bursts into violins, which is followed by aquatic beats later in the song, and some slick guitar even further in. It’s the furthest thing from commercial, but is completely rewarding to the listener who wants to put their headphones on and get immersed in it. 5 Light Years is a tour de force that should be your first listen here – it’s U2 at their weirdest and catchiest. Goodbye my love if I don’t see you again, Elkins sings – I’m five light years from you calling my name.… It’s a bit of a welcome return to something that you can recognize as the Mae that you once knew and loved. If you’re still struggling just a bit and are needing your Everglow fix right freaking now, jump over to Let It Die – it might as well have been a b-side in 2005, and is just as good as anything they’ve ever wrote. Most of the other tracks may not grab you as strongly as you want them to on your first listen, as they’re very diverse and anything but conventional pop. But they weren’t meant to! You thought you knew who Mae was, and you’re not getting what you expected – we’ll all experience that frustration. Don’t give up! Let them sink in. Mae is not the band you once knew, but this incarnation does them complete justice.

Listen To: 5 Light Years

Tooth & Nail Records, November 30th, 2018


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