Maxmillian is an acoustic singer/songwriter from the Fountain Valley area of California, whose beginnings lie in traditional folk and rock, as well as hardcore punk. He began writing music and lyrics in 2011, amassing over 200 unreleased songs. At long last, he released his first song “Cure” in early 2018 which, along with three other unreleased tracks, finally became his debut EP Why I’m This Way. This release is in a classic acoustic style, somewhat reminiscent of Cat Stevens or even Nick Drake.
As I was listening to the lyrics on the opening track “Cure,” it became clear that this was a very personal release. Maxmillian’s lyrics are reflective and often seem to refer directly to the artist’s own life and experiences. With lyrics like, “But you opened the door / And you pushed me into the street,” one can directly connect to the artist and even think about their own life. The lyrics border on melancholy at times, but the overall feeling seems to be one of reflecting on regrets or past experiences.
The four songs on this release are all very similar, though not in a bad way necessarily. Even though he sticks to more basic and traditional song structures, Maxmillian proves his ability as a solo artist as well a songwriter. His dedication to his music is apparent: the production and guitar-playing skill are both amazing. It’s evident he isn’t trying to revolutionize the music world or do anything groundbreaking. Instead, he captures parts life in his music and gets us to think on them.
I was worried that Maxmillian and Why I’m This Way would fall into the massive sea of mediocre singer/songwriters, but I was wrong. His distinct and powerful voice instills emotion in the listener, especially since there aren’t any other instruments aside from his guitar. The instrumentation is minimal and sparsely written, but also has a calming air to it. This EP unexpectedly got me into my emotions – and I’m excited to hear a full-length from him soon.
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