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'It was a way of telling myself to chill out': MAALA on his debut album Composure

Tuesday 2nd August 2016

MAALA aka Evan Sinton gives us a track-by-track insight into his debut album, Composure.

 

Photo: Sony Music

This is part of a regular series called Verse Chorus Verse which sees local artists break down the stories behind their music. For more, click here.

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Composure

Composure had been floating around long before I’d even started writing the EP last year. Structurally it was quite undefined and it felt like more of a loose framework of ideas. As we were trying to piece the album together, I was going through songs and that one felt right as it was - it’s basically the same as the original.

Lose Your Love

This song came about fairly quickly. The demo was knocked out in one session and it was one of those rare times where I had some lyrics ready to go. I wanted a song that hit you pretty hard and so the focus was on keeping it rhythmic and bass-heavy. I think it was important for me that the melody took the back seat.

Feels So Right

Feels So Right was just about one of the first tracks written towards the album. I guess it’s just about that very comfortable feeling in the chaos. Like that feeling you know something is working, but for some reason it can’t - and just being comfortable with that.

Kind of Love

Kind Of Love is about that crush that you’re totally into. It’s playful and dressed up with a whole lot of confidence, but it’s sincere in its gesture. This was a fun one to write; the session was full of energy and we were just having a good time.

Breathe Out

This is one of the more emo/sad tracks on the record. I guess for me it was just a way of telling myself to chill out for a second. It’s filled with tension and anxiety; it has this dark undertone but ultimately it’s about searching for something a little more positive.

Stranger

Stranger was another one of those tracks that had been sitting around for ages. We’d always gone back and forth on its direction and couldn’t quite place it sonically. I wrote this probably closer to two years ago now. Again, it’s quite anxious and about that feeling of being alone. It was an important one for the album.

Forget About You

A couple writers and I took some time out of the studio just to change the setting and hopefully inspire something fresh. We booked out a place in Devonport for the week and this was one of the tracks that came out of it. This is probably my favourite off of the record - Josh Fountain nailed the production and lyrically it really helped me figure things out.

Hush

I wrote this one on a day off in LA. It was my first time in the States and I was surrounded by new experiences. Working alongside some super switched on writers was a real vibe, too. I had a flight to catch that afternoon so it was kind of fun knowing we only had ‘x’ amount of time to get the demo down. Listening to it now, it still feels like a throwback to my time there - like this cool snapshot.

Let Me Know

This track was a lot more about shaping the sounds and keeping it really dynamic. I liked the tough, raw energy and I wanted to explore that as the track progressed and slowly got heavier and more distorted. I don’t think I’ve totally figured out what it means yet, but I can ‘feel’ what it’s saying and that’s exciting enough for me.

Soak

Soak was another track demoed outside of the studio. It’s intimate, super intimate. I definitely questioned it, but it was hard to shake. The vibe was right and I love where we took it with the extra sounds. Props to Josh for throwing jazz flute over the second pre-chorus.

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