Hi SwanDragon, why is this album the best album of the year?
Good question and let me answer.
Let’s start with the music.
The album opens with a luscious atmosphere leading into ‘Sing’. The song then transitions into acoustic guitar and vocal and in 1, 2, 3… the song explodes into orchestral arrangements on top of a some what tribal beat. The song continues to grow and then strip back throughout it’s entirety.
This is a prefect opening statement to this album, as you listen on, every song takes so many different forms from dynamics to genre changes, to time signature changes and although this may seem like it could be a clusterfrick the band work their magic and make each moment and movement fit perfectly. This makes each song stand on its own and shine but again MAE weave the album together with a smooth yet exciting experience.
‘The Overview’ takes no time hitting your ears as Dave Elkins (Vocals/Guitars) takes on a new vocal delivery style with a cadence that keeps your ears on their toes (is that possible?).
Through out the album there is a theme of love, the struggle of but also the pleasures of this emotion. Each note accompanies each lyric and melody like some kind of protein would go with some kind of fermented grape drink. Any person that has experienced any kind of emotion will be able to relate to this album.
From the country twang of the bridge of ‘No Promises’ to the intricate samples MAE show they know no boundaries while also maintaining their unique sound.
The album is like Mae’s Greatest Hits but it only consists of new songs. It is who the band were, are and will be and more.
‘Multisensory Aesthetic Experience’ is one of the most brilliantly produced albums I’ve heard in the past 10 years. From the intricate panning of the hi-hats in ‘5 Light Years’ to the way they seamlessly blend together full orchestral arrangements with the moodiest of unique samples the band has not only shown growth as musicians and songwriters but as producers. Every song seems to have been dissected and re arranged and every knob turn and button push is just as crucial as the songs themselves.
To end this review I need to make you all aware of my “stand out” track. This is quite hard as all of these songs stand out so damn hard! But if I have to choose (which the editors of Culture Eater are forcing me to do…)* I would have to go with with ‘A Race For Our Autonomy’. The acoustic version of this track appeared on Mae’s 3.0 EP released last month and I instantly fell in love. From the simple yet oh so charming guitar lick to the honesty in Dave’s voice and lyrics this song grabbed me hard. Cut to getting to hear the full band/album version and my adoration for this song grew like some magic beans a kid traded a cow for. As soon as the verse hits you know you are in for something different, something big, DRUMS! (As John Lennon would say).
Jacob Marshall (drums) brings a back bone to this song no straight thinking human would. The hi-hat work is hypnotising but you are soon broken out of that trance as Jacob changes the rhythm that should throw you off but it eases you in to the softness of the chorus. The drums/percussion could be released as its own track and I would still think it was one of the best constructed songs I’ve ever heard. As the second chorus finishes (the acoustic versions actual finish) the band hit you with a tear inducing key change as the full band and strings surround and embrace your ears. (By tear inducing, I mean I actually wept quite a bit).
To sum it all up, this album is an experience you can revisit time and time again. Between the amazing production and all the little sounds and samples spread throughout and the perfectly crafted songs I can easily give this album a perfect 10.
Dear Dave, Zach and Jacob,
*No SwanDragons were hurt in the process of writing this interview.