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So nice, isn’t it, this music and living stuff? According to MayMay, the answer to that rhetorical question is a resounding yes: it’s lovely, everything’s beautiful where they are, and when you’re cold you can just be inside with a jumper on. Laurel Simmons’ ambient pop circles around a mix of twanging guitar, Frahmian piano and additive instrumentation, while her voc ...

LP £9.49 oscarson no 09

Gatefold LP on Oscarson.

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REVIEWS

Mountains Hills Plateaus and Plains by MayMay
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7/10 Robin Staff review, 26 October 2016

So nice, isn’t it, this music and living stuff? According to MayMay, the answer to that rhetorical question is a resounding yes: it’s lovely, everything’s beautiful where they are, and when you’re cold you can just be inside with a jumper on. Laurel Simmons’ ambient pop circles around a mix of twanging guitar, Frahmian piano and additive instrumentation, while her vocal tends to trace patterns as if affirming their tranquility, giving them that extra bit of lullaby.

From the gorgeous and optimistic opening ballad, Simmons’ palette recalls the most recent Mammifer record -- its production work is wide open, offering a massive empty landscape to get lost in, with a tiny throbbing beat suggesting little more than a beating heart. It feels content to stand in thrall of the ocean before it. It’s not all that Simmons can do -- the song written inclinations are more specific on certain songs, such as “Cracks”, which pronounces its beat properly and offers guitar strums for her to glide over. It’s somewhat reminiscent of newer Low, while “Give and Takers” goes full on proggy guitar, spreading the tone out until it serves as yet more landscaping.

Simmons mix of Americana, ambience and electronic embellishments threatens to overpack this record, but she handles it excellently: there’s enough space between piano ruminations like “Wooden Light” and countrified slacker tunes like “Where Are You Going” for you to make sense of the map. I want to rent a beach house in the rainy season and listen to this album in it.




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