No Fear

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Maylee Todd

Acts of Love

Maylee Todd’s method­ol­ogy of mu­sic tra­verses realms of pop, elec­tronic and soul, to pos­i­tive ef­fect. Acts of Love finds the 30-some­thing artist lean­ing in on an elec­tronic yet or­ganic ap­proach to groove. While pre­vi­ous ef­forts — in­clud­ing 2010 de­but Choose Your Own Ad­ven­ture and 2013’s Es­capol­ogy — were per­sonal out­ings, Acts of Love takes things to a new level; it’s the re­sult of a con­certed DIY ef­fort that in­volved to­tal con­trol of the means of pro­duc­tion, from writ­ing, ar­rang­ing and com­pos­ing to en­gi­neer­ing. In delving into is­sues of iden­tity, ad­dic­tion, soli­tude, for­give­ness, fidelity and em­pow­er­ment, Todd brings forth an in­ti­mately con­structed, el­e­gantly com­posed LP of bed­room soul.

Todd piv­ots with “From This Mo­ment,” an un­der­stated, strings-un­der­scored em­pow­er­ment an­them that calls out pa­tri­archy from all an­gles — per­pe­tra­tors and en­ablers alike — to plead for ad­vance­ment and un­der­stand­ing. “Eye to Eye” com­mits to sink or swim on its early ’80s Madonna dance-pop — com­plete with Full Force-styled pro­duc­tion — and swims ably, while “Disco Dicks 5000,” a catchy dance ditty that veers on the right side of sen­ti­men­tal­ism, fol­lows in the same throw­back flavour. The elec­tro sweep of “Se­cret Teacher” re­veals Todd’s grow­ing com­po­si­tional and pro­duc­tion mastery (and rev­er­ence to late ’70s hypno-synth sounds), and while the play­ful soul of “Goat Wut U Need” runs a bit slight, “One of These Days” picks up the pace with a head-nod­ding midtempo groove and the or­ches­tral “That’s All I’ll Do” is equal parts re­flec­tive and res­o­nant as it wist­fully makes peace with a dis­solved re­la­tion­ship. On Acts of Love, Todd has found her­self — not com­mit­ted to any par­tic­u­lar genre, but to mu­sic highly rooted in authen­tic­ity, in­tegrity and emo­tional com­plex­ity. (Do Right! Mu­sic, doright­mu­sic.com)

Why was it im­por­tant to make this record?

I think it was cru­cial for me to ex­per­i­ment with the GROOVE mu­sic. Just play. Ul­ti­mately I had a lot of fun mak­ing it — I like to lead with love in­stead of fear. It’s just re­ally great to ex­per­i­ment and have play time with­out get­ting in your own way.

Some might as­so­ciate you with mak­ing pop mu­sic but this is def­i­nitely more soul. What’s your take on genre?

I like a lot of pop mu­sic, but truth­fully, I’ve loved a lot of un­con­ven­tional and ex­per­i­men­tal mu­sic. That’s just re­ally where my heart is. It’s how­ever you want to cat­e­go­rize it. But what I re­ally en­joy do­ing — and what’s im­por­tant for me — is just be­ing com­pletely hon­est with what I like and want to cre­ate. I just see value in ex­per­i­ment­ing and walk­ing with­out fear. I do pri­or­i­tize the value of be­ing gen­uine.

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