Swiss clergyman Saint Frances de Sales once proclaimed, “When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.” The profound message he put forth dictates a certain meticulousness to tackling obstacles. When we face hardships or hurdles in our paths, we often have an overt ache to want to clear it as soon as possible, the goal being to get back on track as soon as we possibly can. What we fail to realize is that some obstacles cannot just be swept away; hardships take delicate patience and steadfast determination to overcome and conquer. In certain cases, once bent to our will, such tribulations may be worked into our favor, creating causation for further opportunities and advancements. Such is the case for Brighton, UK alternative rock outfit Maypine. The quintet, previously known for writing in a pop-punk vein, experienced a recent renascence of their own musicality. Where contrived four-chord structures once prominently stood has now given way to a huddle of ashes- from which a regeneration in the form of dynamic, architectural soundscapes that burst forth and fizzle in their upcoming EP Bend/Break. The aural experience of Maypine’s rebirth is much akin to that of a phoenix’s rising- fiery, and still-evolving in concept and form.
We’re thrilled to present to your eyes and ears the exclusive track-by-track commentary of Maypine’s Bend/Break EP, penned by vocalist Jase! We’ve included the official music video- and a featured blurb from Jase- for the album’s title track for streaming, as Bend/Break formally releases on July 6th. Enjoy!
I think “Give” was the first song I began to write for Bend/Break. I’d just moved out of my parents house and into a new flat, trying to put the stress of the fire behind me. I set up a little recording studio in the 2nd bedroom. It was like a man cave of guitars and musical equipment. I had the main riff tracked, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it. I took it to Becky and she helped me to refine the track. This song is perhaps the most lyrically honest on Bend/Break. I’m always quite an honest songwriter but this one is a true reflection of how I was feeling at the time. I really felt like I reached my emotional breaking point. Recording with Neil was a really enjoyable experience. We layered up a bunch of guitars. Different variations of chords, different guitars, different amp tones/pedal combinations and I think that really made it sound as huge as possible. The vocal harmonies were a killer. I’d really like to thank Daly for pushing me on those. I was in the room when James tracked the drums for this and he blew me away. When he played the fill at the end of the track, I just started laughing… I couldn’t believe he’d pulled that out of nowhere!
[The video] was directed by Lewis Cater, with cinematography by Nicholas Shield, at St Peter’s Church in Brighton. The church was chosen as the venue due to its size and architectural features, which allowed for an interesting backdrop. The video follows the EP colour scheme, with red lighting filling a dark space, with moments of bright white light at key moments of the song. As a performance video for our first single, it gives people a glimpse of what our live shows are like.
I believe the English translation is akin to ‘Lonely Death’ or ‘Fear of dying alone.’ I wrote this one about a former colleague of mine, who sadly passed away. His story hit me very hard! I think it resonated with me that nobody should have to face the unknown alone. And for that reason I chose to encourage the positive message of reconciling with those closest to you. Life is far too short to hold grudges and to not build bridges. It was really great tracking vocals with Becky! She didn’t sing on our previous record and I think was really nervous about it, having only recently begun singing backing vocals, but she smashed it!
This song is perhaps the most different sounding on the EP. It’s really old, too. I wrote the song at the very beginning of Maypine, but I think we felt it wasn’t really ‘us’ at the time. Once we began writing for Bend/Break, it became clear that it could work nicely and so I set about re-writing it. It used to be called “Happy Song,” named so because it’s the only happy song I’ve ever written… It’s a love song. My fiancee definitely inspired me to write a happier track. Her support means the world to me.
I recorded some falsetto harmonies on this track. They were definitely challenging to track- made even more so by Dan making stupid faces at me through the glass. The joke’s on him now, though, because he has to sing them live!
“Together Alone” is the last track we recorded at The Ranch. Tommy came up with the song and concept that would evolve into “Together Alone.” We’d spent a lot of time developing the other tracks in pre-production, but this one got a little less love in the writing process. We therefore spent a while working on this one in the studio. Everything from structure, to vocal melodies to lyrical content was edited in the studio and I’m definitely proud of what we were able to create. This is my favourite track on the EP and one of my favourites to play live, too! It’s the heaviest track we’ve written to date and I feel like it definitely meshes all of our influences together in a neatly wrapped bundle.