Ottawa based alt-pop artist maxime. released his latest LP, cerulean, early December, 2020, which is the follow-up to his 2019 debut, whatevernowiscalled.
The themes between the two albums have some parallels but the latest is more of a progression from the first.
He originally made EDM music under the name maxd, but he eventually realized it was no longer the same outlet it once was. Picking up a guitar and singing became a new outlet for maxime. and he started writing lyrics to fit the new genre.
“I’ve had more experience,” maxime. says. “I didn’t think I could sing before writing the first songs on my last album and you can kind of tell in the tone of my voice. I’m getting closer to finding what I want my voice to be like.”
Over the course of working on the album, maxime. also worked on his own voice by listening to other artists and experimenting with changing the tone of his voice.
“After a while, you notice different things with their voices,” he says. “You can have them deeper in the chest or in the throat. I didn’t pick that up before but now I’m moving the voice around a little bit more and I’m finding where it sits better.”
The song “read receipts” was the last song maxime. wrote for the album. In it, you can hear the confidence in his voice as he sings and changes the tone of his voice.
His unique sound comes from a different approach to songwriting. Being new to writing lyrics gives maxime. a different view when it comes to song structure.
“On cerulean, the chorus only happens once,” he says. “Generally you have the chorus happen a lot because then people listen to it, because it’s catchy, but I didn’t do that for some reason. It didn’t feel right.”
One song that perfectly captures the student life is “ode to my (shitty) apartment.” It recalls the times he and his roommates were “staying up to like 5 a.m. together, watching the sun rise, eating grilled cheeses, drinking way too much beer, and watching movies.”
The 14-track album takes listeners into moments of maxime.’s life where he draws inspiration for the songs. He tries to write lyrics ambiguously in hopes that listeners can find catharsis from some of his songs.
“I really hope [listeners] can somehow relate the lyrics to what they’re going through, if they’re going through similar things or even just totally different things.”