Wavefront Music Festival Artist Spotlight: Maya Jane Coles
In preparation for the arrival of the second annual Wavefront (Beachside) Music Festival on Chicago’s Montrose Beach over the Fourth of July Weekend, we will be highlighting a number of the great talents set to grace the shore of Lake Michigan on July 5, 6, and 7th. Along with the addition of the Heritage of House stage this year, Wavefront brings a variety of artists ranging from techno, deep house, dubstep, and progressive to the Midwest’s favorite lakeside city. With our help, you’ll be prepared to shuffle around in the sand with the best of them come July. Oh, and tickets are still available here.
For many fans of underground dance, Maya Jane Coles may already seem like a household name. Despite her age and her stature, MJC is already a major player on the international scene and has made impressive strides in productions since the release of her first EP Sick Panda back in 2008 on Dogmatik. Her sound is distinctive, relative to many of her peers, and the poise with which she carries herself behind the booth and in front of fans has certainly garnered a lot of respect amongst people twice her age. Ahead of her appearance at Wavefront, I’ll recount my favorite five Maya Jane Coles productions since the beginning of her career. I didn’t include remixes or her work with She Is Danger or Nocturnal Sunshine (narrowing it down was hard enough as it was).
Not only is MJC’s Wavefront appearance an exciting prospect, but she’ll also be celebrating the release of her first full length artist album, entitled Comfort, out on July 1st on her shiny new label I/Am/Me. You can buy the first single “Everything” from the album on iTunes now.
5. Natsu (Sick Panda EP, 2008)
In a world often dominated by predictable production, “Natsu” has always struck me as the perfect example of Maya’s creative use of a digital arsenal. When sample packs and sounds come in the thousands, there’s never a reason two tunes should sound the same and “Natsu” is one that uses its quirks to jump right out of your speakers and into your face. Don’t forget — this was her first solo EP.
4. Humming Bird (Humming Bird EP, 2010)
“Humming Bird” was the title track of the EP she released two years into her career on Hypercolour. Its melody is the definition of an earworm, and interestingly enough even EDM phenom Danny Avila really loves it.
3. What They Say (What They Say EP, 2010)
Though the Dyed Soundorom remix of “What They Say” cannot be ignored, Maya’s own version of “What They Say” was inarguably her breakthrough record in 2010. The organs and vocal hooks work together in a way that’s almost inexplicable, but totally impossible not to enjoy.
2. No Sympathy (No Sympathy EP, 2010)
“No Sympathy” is the track I share with those who still need that MJC conversion. Its melody is sly and subtle, but unforgettable. The song’s theme is obviously heartbreak, but the sex oozes out of the speakers in a way makes the more conservative listener shield their ears.
1. Senseless (Focus Now EP, 2011)
Focus Now will not go down as MJC’s most impressive or memorable EP, but “Senseless” is a song in her arsenal that can’t be shaken. It’s gut-wrenching and heartwarming all at once. It’s a standout not only on the EP — managing to meld electronic pop with techno and house — but also one of her most mature bodies of work in the last few years.