Irish singer songwriter Dean Maywood has long been an accomplished live musician, having spent the past few years playing both his own shows and supporting others in Ireland and USA. Now, 2019 sees his first studio release, a five track self titled EP that comes out this Friday. A mix of folk and Americana with a drop of country thrown in, Dean makes the most of his experience as a live performer with plenty of authentic emotion set against the lyrical music.
The opening track, ‘Jane‘ is a classic relationship song – will they or won’t they break up by the end of the song. The catchy hook of “it’s late but I ain’t gonna leave without you” is repeated throughout, with both him and her seemingly on the point of leaving; Dean leaves it right until the last line to put you out of your misery, although it’s still left slightly ambiguous. Does Jane stay or does she go, as another song might have it. The song is good enough for the listener to care about the outcome, but perhaps I should mention that my name is Jane and therefore, I’m possibly more mentally invested than anyone else! Jane is not a name that crops up in songs very often so when this song landed in my inbox, I was always going to listen.
Before you read on, Dean is giving a FREE download of “Jane”, to Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!
Dean cites the music of John Prine as one of his main influences and it’s easy to see that in ‘Louisiana‘, a beautiful slow ballad that sits in the middle of the five tracks. The distinct country feel suits this song down to the ground, transporting you to wherever home is. Home does not have to be Louisiana for you to appreciate the power and pull of home and family – replace Louisiana with your own home town and you’ll be there. Country singers have long sung about the power of place and memory and Dean cleverly uses this as a base before adding his own spin. Instead of featuring all the wonders of place, the lyrics talk about the more mundane, everyday joys that home might bring and the result is something more deep and profound.
Profound is also the word that comes to mind when listening to ‘Knowing and Lying‘ which explores the difference between not knowing something and lying about it – when do the lines blur? If every day is a “means to an end”, then the obvious question becomes “where are we going”? Several people ask this question in the course of the song and the listener is left to think about the philosophy of not knowing and lying. Most of us will be guilty of this at some point.
‘Silver Dollar‘ encompasses both folk and country rhythms, leading us from ‘Louisiana’ into the final track, ‘Lay You Down‘. The passion on show in this last track, blending a country base with rockier, pop tones makes a strong end to the five tracks on Dean’s debut EP. Dean gives us a range of emotion, pathos and sounds throughout these tracks and it will be interesting to see where his next musical offering takes us.
Dean’s advice to aspiring musicians is apt for the times we live in and the age old question of what’s cool and who’s the hottest thing:
“Being an original independent artist is hard. You have to love what you do and always do it for you, not what you think is cool and what others will love. If you are honest with yourself and honest in your music people will be drawn to that and hopefully after time you start to gather your own tribe behind you.”
Dean Maywood’s EP is released on June 7th.
Catch Dean live here. Or if you can’t make it, follow him at:
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