[Interview] TMN Gets To Know Zach Maxwell

It’s no secret that unearthing new and exciting artists is the main vein running through the pages of TMN. Sometimes an album strikes you just the right way, providing our ears with a dose of dopamine, while also signalling a wealth of untapped potential. One such artist and album is Zach Maxwell and his recent Music for Life EP. A songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Maxwell’s music manages to flit around the edges of multiple genres while offering a completely unique scope to listen through. Recently, Maxwell has been converting his recordings into a live setting behind a highly buzzed about residency in Denver at the eclectic Your Mom’s House venue; building loads of Mile-High hype over the past year.

Zach Maxwell will be playing the final show of his residency this Saturday, June 16th at Your Mom’s House, and we had the chance to sit down and get to know the burgeoning artist a little better before this weekend’s show. Read our interview with Maxwell below, and be sure to listen to Music For Life streaming on all major platforms.

The Music Ninja: First off, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with us a little bit. We’ve had the chance to listen to Music For Life a few times through, and more layers seem to reveal themselves with each passing listen. With this being your first official release more than a single, can you speak to the writing and recording process? Was your process any different trying to make a cohesive multi-track statement, or were things pretty routine when it came to getting the individual tracks in order for Music For Life?

Zach Maxwell: Thanks so much for the kind words about Music for Life! I’m glad that more and more layers are revealing themselves in subsequent listens.  It’s interesting, the process for making this EP was super nonlinear for me. Before I decided to release this EP, I spent a few years just making music that I wanted to listen to.  Just flowing with whatever vibe I was feeling on whatever day I happened to be making music. After a few years, I had 100’s of songs to choose from and realized it was probably time to put some of them out in the world! In listening to all the material I had made, certain songs seemed to fit together as a unit more than others.  I wanted my first release to be something that was more of an offering to the listener as a complete unit with a message versus a bunch of songs that I happened to like and put together. Additionally, my friend and longtime music Veteran Jayson Jackson helped me curate the songs and put together something that worked together. So the process was more working backward than thinking from the get-go that I was going to put a collection of music together.

’Zach Maxwell – Are You?’

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[Indie/Folk] Jack O’Brien – Boo Hoo

Don’t you love when a new artist comes to the table baring sweet, delicious records? We do. And we’re happy to present another to you here in the dojo thanks to the debut project by Jack O’Brien. The Berklee graduate launches with his five track project, Boo Hoo, that will tug at your heart in all the right ways – even when it conjures up tear-jerking emotions.

Jack takes the minimal route with this singer/songwriter album whose power lies in its simplicity. Although there’s plenty of accompaniment on this Derek Simpson produced EP, the project centers around Jack with his guitar and the magic they make together. Not much else is necessary with a talent like this. Check out Boo Hoo below and make sure to grab a copy from the man himself.

’Would Be Anniversary’
’Crippling Posture’
’Mexico’
’Winter Coat’
’My Love’
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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (June 2018 Round #2)

Finding fresh, new quality jams is like diggin’ for gold. Sometimes you gotta dig through all the dirt before you find the buried treasure. Luckily, we’ve got our prospector hats on and are ready to dig, dig, dig for your Indie Dojo listening pleasure.
’Far Caspian – Holding On’
’Bad with Phones – Needles’
’Trudy & The Romance – Is There A Place I Can Go’
’Gold Star – Chinatown’
’Alexander Biggs – Car Ride’
’Sirens of Lesbos – We’ll Be Fine’
’Party of the Sun – Acapulco’
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Madge – Alice [TMN PREMIERE]

“Alice” is one hell of a trip. Punchy, quirky, unique, and deliciously poppy, it’s my first experience with LA-based, D-I-Y producer Madge, and it’s one I couldn’t easily shake after only one listen through.

Opening with what sounds like a sample from an classic suspense movie, it’s impossible to peg where the track is going to end up. Even beyond that, you’ll still be guessing after the crunchy guitar riff and childlike voices kick in. In fact, you might expect someone to come in and lay down a hot hip hop verse. Instead though, you’re welcomed into softly-sung, ethereal vocals. It’s such a jarring juxtaposition, and one that works beautifully.

Those alternating sections, of both her and and the children’s playful chatter, are a purposeful representative of the destructive voices in Madge’s head. Seemingly normalized by the playful, funky bassline, and flute-like synths, it’s an intent-based structure that has layers beyond what you’ve come to expect from your run-of-the-mill pop.

“Alice” explores themes of trauma, pleasure, and shame as experienced in the form of a personal poltergeist. Almost all the lyrics have double entendre and the narrative is both literal and metaphorical. Alice is dangerous even though she’s dead – the nature of trauma itself.

Madge just recently broke into the scene, with “Alice” being her third release. Make sure to keep tabs on her and more intriguing releases in moving forward.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (June 2018 Round #1)

Ain’t no such thing as June Gloom when you got a brand new Indie Dojo at your fingertips.
’Frills – She’s Got Love’
’Human Resources – West Coast’
’Cautious Clay – Smoke’
’Con Davison – Somebody Else’
’Nightshifts – Trouble’
’Teme – bj.sadsong’
’Ella Grace – Here We Are Again’
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[Indie/Pop] Dresage – Gallery

Dresage
Gallery

Keeley Bumford of Los Angeles, otherwise known around music as Dresage, has graced the world with yet another original record. Her indie pop treasure “Gallery” is one you’ll likely spend all day in as your ears bare witness again and again to its magnificent qualities.

“Gallery” isn’t your usual teeny bopper pop track. That just isn’t Dresage’s style, so instead she manifests a more industrious, sharp tone that only takes some of the best parts of pop music and sews them together with her own indie affinities. The result was another smash, this coming after her previous single “Linger.”

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (May 2018 Round #4)

Looking for some new jams to freshen up your indie collection? Well, we think you’ve come to the right place, friends. Enjoy the indie freshness of the Indie Dojo on us.
’Laureline – I Love You’
’Alfred Hall – Since I Saw You’
’Macajey – Journeys’
’Gaspar Sanz – Watch You Go’
’Fool Child – Dance On Your Own’
’Young Gun Silver Fox – Just a Man’
’Juan Solorzano – Should’ve Been You’
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