Published Apr 23, 2020mxmtoon's biggest asset as an artist is her willingness to embrace her own quirks, which the 19-year-old singer-songwriter and Animal Crossing aficionado known only as Maia has already done plenty of thanks to her quickly growing catalogue of lo-fi bedroom pop and deeply intimate lyricism. Coming less than a year after her debut album the masquerade, dawn — the first of two EPs planned for this year — shows Maia making strides in a traditional pop direction without losing any of the endearing charm of her best earlier work.
Drawing from a more adventurous sonic palette, dawn is a strong showcase of Maia's continuing evolution as a songwriter. Opener "fever dream," with its more expansive production and refrain of "Getting by's so boring," is almost a mission statement of sorts, reflecting a singer pushing herself to keep growing. As well, the bouncy ukulele-driven "no faker" reinforces Maia's ability to embrace her own personality. Similar to King Princess, Maia manages to let her distinct artistic persona shine through lush soundscapes without losing any of her vulnerability as a singer.
Though it's a short statement that barely makes it past the 20-minute mark, this EP is hardly inconsequential. Twenty minutes is all Maia needs to show that pop success is very much in her grasp if she wants it. (AWAL)