MayMay is Laurel Simmons. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Simmonsʼ debut solo album, “And So I Place You In the Setting Sun” is a gorgeous, quietly powerful mediation on the acceptance of transition.
Simmons is no stranger to creating pastoral, evocative music, having exercised her considerable vocal and instrumental skills as a member of beloved Portland chamber-folk darlings Loch Lomond, as well as collaborations with a variety of other well-regarded acts, including international touring with peers such as Alela Diane and Rauelsson.
MayMay began during Simmonsʼ ﬁrst winters in the Paciﬁc Northwest leaving her homesick for the deserts of her native Arizona and the closeness of generations of family she left behind. MayMay is named in homage to her Arizona roots, in particular her grandmother Barbara Mae May.
“And So I Place You in the Setting Sun” is a remarkable record, willing to experiment with the tension between ambiance and rhythmic texture, while nostalgia and eloquent melodies arrange themselves into dynamics that are compelling yet wanting. The instrumentation blooms and fades like seasons through artful arranging and listeners come away with the notion of how triumphant the heart can be.
The collision of Simmonsʼ somber, ethereal vocals with lyrics permeated by images of sunlight and evocative themes of the process of letting go results in a record that truly sticks with the listener.
Named after a Hitchcock-esque nightmare in which he was set upon by a pair of hard-winged, marauding cuckoos, David A Jaycock’s second album is step forward from the pastoral motifs of his debut, incorporating an expansive country-folk sound alongside the indigenous qualities and general oddness that have made his name.
This 44 minute piece may structurally resemble a classical composition – divided as it is into several interlocking stanzas – but it’s difficult to place it comfortably within the realm of modern music. If anything, ‘The Rest….’ evokes the otherwordly, fantastical obsessions of the Victorians (Conan Doyle, Lear, Grandville, Wellcome, etc) through means of meticulously manipulated instrumentation, samples and voice.Plinth, of course, is no stranger to Victoriana.
Mastered by Jannick Schou. Limited to 500 copies on replicated CD (NOT CDR!) in numbered 6 panel digipak with full colour artwork designed by Justin Wright himself. First 100 orders come with bonus cassette of outtakes in hand stamped packaging.