Call Me Back If You Can Dig The Music
[CAT. #: TDRCO-072]
"Out of The Dust" (Single)
[CAT. #: TDRCO-052]
"Flute's Upside Ya Head" (Single)
[CAT. #: TDRCO-025]
Losing The Memory! 1995-2005 CD
[CAT. #: TDRCO-007]
New Mariya May Album Out May 17, 2016 on Ten Dollar Recording Co.
Mariya May’s new album Call Me Back if You Can Dig the Music finds the soulful, Portland-based songstress helming a deft concoction of lush neo-soul, rafter-rattling dub reggae, and verdant folk-addled adages to love and loss, all shot through with a keen pop sensibility and strident lo-fi attitude. Call Me Back if You Can Dig the Music manages to listen as both vintage and modern at once, familiar and yet fully in its own element. This album is definitely not short on either vision or listenability, and many of the tracks here are well worth some repeat uptake into your earholes. With Mariya’s strong vocal presence and haunting flute lines, the total musical package comes off with an ease and timelessness that is a giddy, memorable listen and yet another great addition to the Ten Dollar Recording Company catalogue. Download at i-Tunes or Buy the CD.
VIDEO: "Out Walking"
New Mariya May Single "Orange Ball of Love" Available February 8, 2014
For me, a band or a musician takes a major step forward in their development when you see them step out of their comfort zone and truly crush a different aesthetic. Mariya May, on her latest single, has managed just this. Trading her habitual swoon and melancholia for a peppier, more purposeful delivery, and exchanging her slow waltz for a classic reggae/dub rhythm, the longtime fan of her work might be left wondering why it took her so long to reveal this other, sunnier side to her persona. Parts Desmond Dekker, Abba, and Sam and Dave, this cover of The Mountain Goats "Orange Ball of Love" is as sassy as it is cool. It is impossible not to purse one’s lips and head bob to the infectiously laid back beat. The instrumentation, as is often the case with her work, is a complex but uncomplicated layering of both conventional and unconventional pieces. The reggae is handled aptly and tastefully, allowing the song and the singer the space they need to bounce along and snag the sly hook in most everyone who is fortunate enough to hear it. (Hutch Hill)
Mariya May / Flute's Upside Ya Head (Single)
A beautiful, melancholy and sparsely arranged flute instrumental? Why the hell not? Theatrical, mystical, lonesome, and meditative, this surprising track calls to mind the scenery shots of 1970’s Kung Fu shows starring David Carradine. An alto-centric melody moves slowly along a minor scale without any obvious repetition, occasionally joined by distant harmonies that accent the lead flute at opportune moments. It’s pretty and familiar feeling, without being recognizable or possessing even a hint of cliché.
Requiring mention is the production and close mic-ing of Ms. May’s performance. We hear not only her breath and the whispery vibrato of the wind instrument, but as well her fingers working the holes and even a few birds who seem to venture in through the window at the end of the track.
The result is a warm and vibrant recording, an intimate instrumental, that offers something off the beaten path of much of her other work while still sparkling with unmistakable style and aesthetic. (Hutch Hill)
Mariya May / Flute's Upside Ya Head (Single)
With a name like "Flute’s Upside Ya Head", what one could reasonably expect from Mariya May’s recent single on Portland’s Ten Dollar Recording Co. might be something akin to one toke over the line into out and out flute armageddon, possibly topped off with some sort of instrument and/or eardrum destruction. But not so fast there, partner; slow down, take a seat for a few and prepare to shed your previous assumptions. This is Ten Dollar Recording Co., and what you imagine may well not be what you get, and often to the benefit of your listening pleasure.
So what do you get from May’s "Flute’s Upside Ya Head", then you ask? Rather than some sort of woodwind scorched earth campaign, what we the fastidious listeners out here in headphone-land are subject to is more along the line of a solitary recital, a type of windswept and classically framed meditation that invites more introspection than aggression. To the contrary, May’s track is anything but agitated, and instead represents the depth of the bag of tricks available to the adept singer-songwriter. May has employed her flute skills to good effect on other releases, such as her solo retrospective disc Losing the Memory! 1995-2005 as well as her collaborative project with TDRC’s talented Ryan Michael Block known as What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance and their recent release Don’t Take All This Groove Away (also out on Ten Dollar Recording Co., by the way), both of which were peppered with her flute-work. Much like "Flute Are E.a", the final track from the aforementioned Losing the Memory!, "Flute’s Upside Ya Head" is a solo flute piece without other accompaniment despite a few harmonic flute overdubs here and there to deepen and propel the track.
May has obviously had some manner of classical training with her instrument, and it shines through here yet again. "Flute’s Upside Ya Head" has a fairly expansive feel, following a melodic line through its various lilts and bends and recreating a scene of grey water expanse, conjuring images of rocky coastlines and deep green forests that may have something to do with the obvious classical, almost renaissance faire feel that permeates the contour-lines. The track manages all this without coming off as campy, however, and maintains a somber minimalism throughout that doesn’t show its seams too much. If the idea is to highlight a single, solitary aspect of May’s abilities for the documentary/historical reenactment/nature film set, then mission accomplished. (Reed Burnam)
/ Losing The Memory! 1995-2005 CD
Mariya May’s new record Losing the Memory! 1995–2005 definitely has the sound, feel, and tinge of the period in which it was recorded. The opening handful of tracks really have a very nice dated quality to them, both in sound and recording quality, while the track contents tend to diversify a little more in the latter half of the album. There’s splashes of dream pop, closet psychedelia, loud/quiet/loud, shoegaze, and all throughout the record’s margins that glorious period that gave birth to 10,000 late night bedroom rock and pop operas played out on the glowing needle gauges of innumerable Tascam 8-Tracks.
May’s voice is really beautiful and her most unique asset, and it’s possible that no-one over the age of 30 has ever been able to listen to her sing a few tracks and not comment on the uncanny resemblance to Hope Sandoval. However, May’s varied output herein is enough to put claims of out-and-out idolatry to bed. Sandoval and the Mazzy Star years are a big influence on her stylistic output, sure, along with a lot of other groups that come to mind such as Bjork, Slowdive, Catherine Wheel, Belly, and (at times) Cocteau Twins along with Portishead and the inestimable Beth Gibbons. There’s more, but the memories are getting a little foggy at this historical juncture, which is one of Losing the Memory!’s charms. The album as a whole has a disarming honesty about it, and is celebratory of its varied influences while still managing to have a voice itself.
The record kicks off with "Member Zaya", a moody, plodding daydream of a track that feature’s May’s smoke-like vocal whisps over a chorus-drenched, arpeggiated guitar line. While it’s kind of expected that drums finally kick in around the 2:00 mark, it’s still fun and helps propel the riff into full fruition. "Forest Bloom" is one of the album’s gems, a DIY psych-shoegaze exploration into sheets of luminescent afterglow melody that dissolves into a distortion free-for all punctured by May’s flute lines. "Beijing" is another high-point, all Mazzy Star meets Ride and apt to get stuck in your cortex for a bit, for sure. "My Eyes Bleed Silver" is another highlight, and opens with a loose dischordance that meanders its way into a squall of white noise and floor-gaze guitar theatrics.
Further album stand-outs are tracks like the short and sweet psych-nugget "Ontology Party", the well put-together and accessible "If It Should", the sultry and watery "Dreaming", and thoroughly unexpected album closer "Flute Are E.a", a moody, organic flute-based composition that wouldn’t be out of place in a black and white film about nature.
In all, May’s record is a window into a body of work that is the output of a talented singer and songwriter and is replete with some really nice moments, and some that are pretty transcendent. And there’s some of us out here that appreciate the honesty, as well. (Reed Burnam)