Maya Shore – Farewell to Introductions

Maya Shore
Farewell to Introductions

I feel like this album has something against me. It wants to tease me. Each of the eight tracks on Farewell to Introductions wields some weapon to bore into my skull, puncture my cerebral cortex, and stimulate my motor cortex, thereby resulting in muscle spasms. However, none of the songs ever unleashes that secret weapon that would cause uncontrollable urges to move thy body. No, not one reaches that climactic point that calls for chaotic dancing. The tempo of each song oscillates from slow to medium to a little above medium to slow again. And this tendency gets to me. It boggles my mind.
Then again, maybe Farewell to Introductions is not out to get me. Maybe it has been telling me all along that the intentions of its creator, Maya Shore, lie elsewhere. After all, Maya Shore is an area off the coast of Mexico – a, from what I have heard, peaceful place. Maya Shore seems to be happy with tranquil, guitar-driven songs. And it may be beneficial to not follow the same structured loud-soft formula that many bands churn out. I guess I was expecting another Sunny Day Real Estate. Now that I have been given ample time to ponder the music of Maya Shore, I have concluded that I like their mid-tempo, guitar-droning songs of five to seven minutes in length.
The eight tracks that Farewell to Introductions offers are driven by Kelly Chambers’ lonely electric guitar and passionate vocals. Wade Chamberlain plays a particularly laid-back, indie-sounding bass, and Chris Purdie does everything but pound on his drums. The similar structure among the songs provides for a rather cohesive album instead of a compilation of singles. On the reverse, though, there is not a really great track to be found – just a collection of consistently good ones.
The opener, “Five Minutes,” never seems to fully develop. During my first listen to this song, I truly thought something nuts was going to go down in under a minute. But low and behold, the song remains at an almost constant pace for its duration. “Restless Time” accurately represents what one is to find on the album. The song starts off subdued with slow, crisp guitar work and then climbs to a mid-tempo sound of guitar distortion and dreamy keys. Yet the song does not rock, somehow. The most pleasing vocals are found when Chambers sings “you’re not here / it’s just a video / it’s just restless time / so don’t think / that I don’t care.” Sure, the lyrics are not especially noteworthy, but the way in which Chambers breaks “I” into two syllables makes my throat itch. “Corsa” also displays Chambers’ vocal range as his voice approaches a half-yell when singing the title of the song.
So, the lyrics leave something to be desired, and the songs are more pleasant than instantly catchy. But Fairwell to Introductions makes for a soothing soundtrack for a listener who is tired or lonely. The music of Maya Shore does not take the listener to the place of the same name. Rather, it both pacifies and depresses, transporting the listener to the bleak, windy shores of the eastern United States. Now that I think about it, the album is kind of a downer, actually, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.