ALBUM REVIEW: MAYA JANE COLES – TAKE FLIGHT

It seems like Maya has kept her fans on tenterhooks with the promise of new material for a good while now. As long ago as the fall of 2015 there were whispers of a double album imminently dropping. Her last full-length, 2015’s Nocturnal Sunshine - released under her moniker of the same name - offered a dreamy and generally more downtempo side of her personality. Whilst the 12-track did display MJC’s versatility with forays into dubstep and 4x4 territory, it only supressed appetites for so long.

Since then she has kept a relative low-profile on the production front. But that all changed at the turn of the year when she released a remix package to coincide with her partnership with Boiler Room and their True Music project. 2 EPs on her own I/AM/ME imprint featuring music from the LP followed later in April & July respectfully. This was the indication that long-term fans had been waiting for!

Former collaborator Chelou returns on Take Flight, alongside new additions Wendy Rae Fowler and GAPS. But for the most part Maya maintains continuity by delivering her own melancholic-tinged vocals.

The first half of the album contains angst-ridden lyrics carried over the diverse soundtrack of urban London. The album’s opener Weak is the perfect segway between her last album and this body of work. In it Maya herself recounts the vulnerability of being infatuated. Indeed, the album title itself may reference fleeing an unhealthy relationship. Or it could purely be a metaphor for spreading your wings. In any case, this is the theme which flows throughout. Bo & Wing could be a Lana Del Rey record minus the vocal storytelling track for all its whimsical majesty, whilst the title track is a futuristic hybrid with elements of DNB. Elsewhere A Chemical Affair has notes of other indietronic contemporaries such as The XX and London Grammar.

The genres that Maya is most synonymous with rear their influences throughout this release, though those hoping for fully-fledged house & techno are required to sit patiently until the second-half. Whilst the pace quickens throughout, it’s the halfway mark where the tempo is notably notched up. Those seeking club-orientated music should gravitate towards the final third of the album. Cherry Bomb and Golden Days might not fit into the category of ‘peak-time banger’ but they are more dancefloor-leaning. There’s also some beefy remixes in the pipeline, some of which are already being drip-fed from the likes of label mates Catz N Dogz.

This is Maya spreading her roots, displaying her skillset and blurring the boundaries of electronic music. It’s simply what she does best. She has never followed trends and always leads from the front. Take Flight is MJC at her creative and pioneering best.



Buy the album here