This Is What The Moon Sounds Like * Maryann * R&B * October 28, 2014 * iTunes

Maryann has been featured on our site a few times in our brief past.  That shouldn’t be surprising when you think about her output for the year.  Releasing her independent project Futuristic Always back in April, she released several loosie tracks and is now on to new things with her brand new EP This Is What The Moon Sounds Like.  If her last project was meant to send us into the future, this one is meant to send us to outer space; but can she maintain the quality that her fans have come to expect with so many releases in one year?  There’s only one way to find out…

1. Take Over The World – The opening track finds a playful blending of the more futuristic style that her fans are accustomed to and the Hearts of Space-like new sound.  Giving a little attitude in her normally sweet vocals, Maryann gives us an earful by singing about a love so strong that it overcame the odds (that others laid down) and might just be powerful enough to take on all-comers.  The brief production switch-up towards end of the track adds some nice variety for a beat that threatens to become monotonous, but never does.  Not the strongest choice for an opening track, but a nice one nonetheless.

2. Landing – This track features Maryann’s signature sweetheart vocals and a spacey production by her partner SBCVE.  The meaning behind this is about finding the ability to land on your feet, even when things seem to be in constant flux, she couches it in the metaphor as blasting off for the unknown.  Maryann delivers the bulk of her vocal performance an octave or two below her normal register, giving a nice layered effect when her higher harmonies come in on the chorus.  A standout track.

3. So Xtra – The most up-tempo track on the EP, Maryann is letting these men out here know how to approach her in a way that will get her to respond.  The production on this is the highlight, bouncing between the minimal verses and the screwed-sounding, bass heavy choruses.  The fact that Maryann essentially stops singing for about a third of the track really allows for SBCVE to go in and work the beat for all it’s worth.  Maryann’s vocals are nice and engaged but, at times, they almost melt into the background until the harmonies emerge.  An okay track though not particularly memorable.

4. Slow Ridin’ – Meant to be a turn-up track, this mid-tempo rattler has some pretty good legs.  The pulsing production almost has a hint of the macabre in it with the organ-heavy intro and slightly off-key underlying notes.  This track has Maryann showing off some of her rhyming skills (and we thoroughly appreciate her not affecting an accent to sound more hood) with the aid of autotune.  This kind of track might come across as unbelievable from most artists in this position, but her music has always had a strong dash of hip-hop.  This is a good track is both fun and shows diversity, giving us Maryann’s more playful side.

5. No Shade – I was all in my feelings/But I won’t throw (I won’t shade).  Maryann does a good job on this track about her promising not to be the type of jerk that her ex was when they were together now that the relationship has ended.  The best part of her vocal performance is the ending breakdown, where the beat switch-up and her tone meet and an angelic harmony.  The production is lush; starting out with combo of what sounds like tribal drums backing a piano before switching to her more familiar sound.  The biggest issue is that she needs to enunciate a little more in sections because she becomes a little hard to understand.  Despite the misstep, though, this is a strong track.

6. High Steppin – Maryann’s vocals and the production are a good marriage here as she brags on herself and just how she got it.  The spaced-out backing beats topped with the partially autotuned vocals give this an interesting sound.  SBCVE outdoes himself on the production as you are never given a chance to get board before it switches up.  That should make this sound a little schizophrenic, but it works incredibly well.  Maryann’s vocals are nice here to, with her giving a more attitude and noticeably adlibbing more on the chorus.  The energy of the track overall comes right through speaks in a way that makes it hard not to move around.  A standout track.

7. The Long Way – With her partner SBVCE putting in a nice island-style production and a pretty strong rap verse, singer Maryann gives us another new cut from her upcoming project This Is What The Moon Sounds Like.  This is about as far from her previous album (stylistically) as she can get.  This is also a nice change-up from the previous beatwork.  Maryann’s vocals are nice, if a little muted, but she is clearly engaged and that brings the song up quite a bit.  This is a good track that’s worth more than few listens.

8. This Is What The Moon Sounds Like – The title track of the EP, you do get the feeling of drifting through space when the track starts off before the heavier beat comes in.  About two people allowing themselves to go wild together (influenced by the moon?), you feel like a spell is being cast on you be the seductive vocals and pulsing production.  Maryann’s sweet vocals are an asset here, making her sound like a mischievous fairy trying to seduce a passerby into some trouble.  A strong track and great way to end the EP.

While not quite as strong as her previous effort, this is still a good project; especially for those who are unaware of Maryann.  This project has a sampling of the kind of music that she can make and the range of singing, which might be a little wider than most people expect.  This is a better than average introduction (for most) to a singer that has a lot of potential and personality.

Rating:  3.5