mxmtoon is back with dusk, the second EP of 2020 from the Oakland-raised, Brooklyn-based artist known as Maia. If dawn from earlier this year drew from the gentle optimism and hope found in a gorgeous sunrise, dusk is a beautiful exploration of the other side of the emotional duality that is the human experience. At once recalling mxmtoon’s earlier work while also expanding her sonic horizons more than ever before, dusk is an exciting new direction suggesting that the sky is truly the limit for Maia’s artistry.
The world’s changed a lot since dawn was released, and so has mxmtoon’s life. She recently turned 20 years old and, along with continuing to work on music, has dove headlong into the digital world by using her voice as an activist through social media platforms like TikTok, Twitch, and Discord.
From political explainer videos to charity stream sessions, Maia has been doing more than her best to, as she puts it, “keep some sort of normalcy amongst the chaos. These platforms are a way to connect and have conversations with people in a world where I don’t get to see them face-to-face for a while. It’s made me closer with my audience as a result.”
“If 2020 has proved anything, it’s that the world can keep throwing things at you even when it’s already crazy and horrible,” Maia continues while discussing her online activism, which has included speaking her mind and educating her fans on Twitter and TikTok. Maia is using her voice to empower the LGTBQ+ community, Black Lives Matter, and has been a vocal opponent against the Trump administration. “Speaking out on issues I believe in has always been incredibly important to me, especially in this time where being proactive is more important than ever. It’s about fighting for the issues that are really important and doing what we can for the world.”
dusk finds Maia continuing to explore who she is within that world around her—zooming in to moments of solitude and down time, documenting the downs that come after the ups. Joining her is an impressive list of collaborators ranging from Carly Rae Jepsen, to Tune-Yards‘ Merrill Garbus, who produced several tracks on dusk. “It was heavily influenced by my own desire to work with strong female producers and artists,” Maia states regarding the creative process behind the EP. “Getting the opportunity to work with so many incredibly talented minds was such a privilege during this project. My hope for any art I make is to lift up and involve the voices of other women, and dusk is no exception.”
“It’s introverted and reflective,” she continues while discussing the EP’s thematic bent. “It’s about sitting with the darkness for a little longer—finding the unknown and not quite wanting to move away from it yet. It’s the way I wish I could make my previous music sound—sad, but beautiful.”
Indeed, dusk’s gloriously shaded sound sparkles even at its most darkly shaded moments. The lovely ukulele on first single “bon iver” calls back to that earlier sound with a shimmering richness of production value, while the elegant balladry of “asking for a friend” dissolves into a beautiful breakbeat-filled second half. Then there’s “ok on your own,” a slinky R&B jam featuring Canadian pop queen Carly Rae Jepsen. “I sent it to her and, to my surprise, she really liked it,” Maia enthuses. “To have her involved in the project is incredible.”
At the center of dusk is a message that’s universal and relatable: there’s no happiness without sadness, and learning to live with both can lead to discovering new depths in the pleasure of living. “There’s different emotions that come with being human,” Maia states while discussing the message she wants to deliver, “and that’s something all of us have to work on.”For tour dates and more visit: www.mxmtoon.com/