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.