Hearing Aide: Mayve ‘Animals’ EP

Fresh off of Long Island came some hot bagels and Mayve’s new EP entitled Animals. Mayve, pronounced like the Irish first name “Maeve” and not to rhyme with “maybe,” got the inspiration for their name from lead singer Nick Micheline; he liked his little cousin Mayve’s first name. The band is comprised of five guys and they’ve been playing together for a few years. Back in 2012, they were featured on “Rick’s Rising Stars.” On the show, Rick Eberle talks about the best upcoming artists in the local scene. This indie pop band fits the standard rock band archetype instrumentation-wise with some synthesizer ornamenting the band’s recordings.

They’re currently unsigned to a record label, but the EP was recorded with the help of Rocky Gallo, who has engineered a number of records with many artists like John Legend, Andrew Bird, Jim Wolf, and more.

Songs like “Hearts on Fire” and “Talking to Myself” aren’t new to their repertoire and have been performed since 2014. But it seems like they’ve compiled five of their more recent original recordings as a marketing tactic to get their songs out there as a unit.

Overall, the lead singer sounds a bit like Andrew McMahon from Jack’s Mannequin and has a little flair of pop punk with his pronunciation of some lyrics. Almost all of the songs have melismatic repetitive phrases which make them easy for listeners to learn and sing along to. No one in the band primarily specializes on synthesizer, (based on the band’s social media and music videos) but the synth definitely helps augment the sound and give it that edgy pop sound.

“Hearts on Fire” is all about love, which is the predominant subject matter in each of their tracks. The band sounds much like The 1975, especially with the bright guitar timbre on this track. The lead singer talks about young love and how no one can take that love away. In “Higher,” the idea of animalistic desires as per the EP title is evident in the lyrics with lines like “My body’s taking over; your body’s taking me higher and higher.” The tune has background group vocals singing “higher and higher” throughout which aurally reinforces the lyrics. “Magic” is the only slower song in the lineup, and uses an acoustic guitar to highlight the emotion behind the words. This song also has backing harmonies, which adds some nice texture to the tune.

The band’s sound is not terribly unique; they sound like a generic indie/pop band. This is just the beginning of their time in the music business with the release of the EP and they have a lot of room to grow. They need to expand beyond what they’re doing both stylistically and instrumentally. They all sound like they are very proficient players, and the production quality is quite high, but they need something to make themselves stand out in a sea of many similar-sounding bands. It will be interesting to see what creative direction they take moving forward.

This EP is available for free listening on SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and Spotify, and for purchase on iTunes.

Key Tracks: Talking to Myself, Hearts on Fire, West Coast

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