Proper Aesthetics In Multisensory Experiences
The “Prologue” on The Everglow contains a crackling introduction, instructing the listener to view the album artwork as they experience the music. The watercolor paintings, in tandem with the songs, relate the story of a band on a journey. Mae’s latest concept album is anything but a sophomore slump; Everglow is inspired, well-crafted, and everything the band’s fans no doubt hoped it would be.Mae’s original style and dynamic song-writing is still present, though their sound is more deliberate. Dave Elkins’ vocals are even more polished than on Destination: Beautiful, while the production by Ken Andrews (of Failure) has given the music an appreciable depth. The subtle yet essential keyboards of Rob Sweitzer add a classical influence, popular these days in indie rock.
Harmonic vocals and some soft instrumentation make the music accessible to everyone, yet it is anything but mushy. Fans of a harsher sound may not fully enjoy the peaceful and sweet “Ocean,” or the light-hearted “We’re So Far Away.” However, the emotionally-charged “Someone Else’s Arms” and uniquely surprising “Cover Me” will appeal to those who love a more visceral rock experience.
Most notable are the transitions. There are no breaks, but rather some creative mixing that pulls the songs together and places them in a distinct order. These transitions are subtle, but work well despite the different keys and time signatures. Whether the transitions are meant to make the viewing of the artwork a seamless experience, or to create a cohesive album, one thing is clear: The Everglow is one work made of many elements, and each song is only one unique part of the band’s overall message.