Feel the pulsing heart of melancholy and reflection in this abject and moody single release from Mauwe.
From the outset, the compressed and subtle delay on the solo notes, provide the minor tonal harmony and rhythm upon which the vocals can be blended beautifully. This feature allows the low industrial beat to enable the track to breathe. The combination of indie feel with an electronica framework works to establish the mood and stylism that Mauwe delivers effortlessly.
Lyrically, the track is about storytelling and experiences and lures the listener into the dark narrative and imports a relationship to personal understanding. This is a development of earlier releases from Mauwe that aimed to make a distinct impression; Ain’t It Magical makes no statement of intent; you have to do this for yourself. This is an impressive feature of the release and whilst you can sense the middle of the night reflection of solitude, the backbeat continues to pulse the night onwards. The intentional repetitive keylines in the lyrics are placed well and are the hook that embraces an audience.
Vocally, the subtle backing from Jay elevates Portia’s lead vocal and it would be good to see some use of power and strength in future releases. This would add further passion into the refrain sections that would open opportunity for Jay to lift the instrumental depth and showcase their talents further. There is a Sophie Ellis-Bextor quality in the vocals and 90’s flavour to the track, allowing the dreamscape-trance moments within the artistry.
Mauwe are not routine or obvious and have accessed a mixture of genres that belong to them. The influences range from club beats, almost oppressive undertones in rhythm, to open deep bass segments. All this, used as a platform to contrast the vulnerable lyrics through a secure vocal arrangement. Ain’t It Magical is well worth a listen.
Mauwe have some impressive credits so far with support from BBC Introducing West, a slot on London’s Clash Live and radio play. They are playing the Croissant Neuf stage at Glastonbury 2019 and clearly beginning to make an impact with the effort paying off after only two years from their debut release That’s All in 2017.
By Steve Walker