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Behind The Scenes of Mae's "Singularity"

Posted by: Jason Tate (01/23/14)
Zach from Mae has written a blog about his favorite Mae album: Singularity.
After all, if I could designate any period of time which could be attributed to a negative turning point in Maeís tenure, it would be associated with the recording and release of Singularity, and the subsequent tour. Aside from the biographical events, the songs and sonic characteristics of this particular record donít immediately bring to mind feelings up triumph or any elevated accomplishments. Of course, in a certain sense, the writing, recording, and release of any body of songs is an accomplishment, but with Singularity, the accomplishment registered is not similar to that of The Everglow. Furthermore, the fan reception of Singularity was disappointing. Interestingly enough, I donít blame people for that..but at the same time, I donít agree with them. The fact that Singularity could maintain so many different positions in my own mind is interesting to me, and I want to explain because I feel the situations and the processes surrounding that record are unique.
 
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10:06 AM on 01/23/14
#2
Phil507
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Interesting read. It probably is unfortunate that they went with Howard "modernr-rock-by-the-numbers" Benson. Also there's no need to spend $500k on recording, even in 2007.
10:24 AM on 01/23/14
#3
Jason Tate
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Seriously good read if you like the band or reading about industy workings.
10:39 AM on 01/23/14
#4
combatchuckaa
blammo!
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Interesting...Singularity is their least liked album yet it's actually a really GOOD album.
10:46 AM on 01/23/14
#5
NorthstarPark
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Good read, very interesting. I like Mae but I admit I never really got into this album, maybe I'll give a another chance down the line.
11:14 AM on 01/23/14
#6
mvacare23
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Love this band, Like this album, But something about the way he spoke and wrote that article rubbed me the wrong way.
11:20 AM on 01/23/14
#7
thechetearly
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man i HATED this record haha. But definitely interested as to why he liked it so much.
11:28 AM on 01/23/14
#8
fakeyellowlight
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Fantastic read.

A little perplexing, though, that after all of his accurate criticisms of Singularity, he would then call it his favorite record given the "output" not the "input." As a fan, all I heard were the songs. It was just a bland record to me, and I'll never forget how disappointed I was, regardless of how many times I went back to it.

I think the Morning and Night EPs were very good, though.
11:31 AM on 01/23/14
#9
combatchuckaa
blammo!
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Well, in the comment section Zach did confirm that Capitol owns the songs and they are unable to release the album on vinyl due to that. So there's that.

I really hope Mae reforms and makes more music. The (M)(A)(E) project was incredible.
11:39 AM on 01/23/14
dangerofthought
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Can understand where Zach's coming from. I loved the song "Brink of Disaster", but I didn't really enjoy the rest of the record. Might give it another go soon.

But The Everglow. Holy cow. What an incredible album. I can't even...
11:52 AM on 01/23/14
OctoberOrigins
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It's a solid album, but I'll always love The Everglow more
11:56 AM on 01/23/14
zachmae
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Fantastic read.

A little perplexing, though, that after all of his accurate criticisms of Singularity, he would then call it his favorite record given the "output" not the "input." As a fan, all I heard were the songs. It was just a bland record to me, and I'll never forget how disappointed I was, regardless of how many times I went back to it.

I think the Morning and Night EPs were very good, though.
To clarify, my emotions on the record are mixed. I suppose that it is my favorite because, in my head, I know what we were trying to do with the songs, therefore, in a certain sense, the songs remain insulated in their initial form regardless of what I hear on the final product. I think there's an absurdity in this, because I can easily a imagine a failed outcome in relation to the intent to be even more reason for frustration. Also, with reflection, I remember the initial reaction to the record as being very dismissive. There's a strange thing that happens with time...like, people soften. Now I often see people claim that it is a favorite of theirs, or that they love it. The psychology is interesting. When we released material, as so often happens, all I focused on was the negative critiques. So, when I am skeptical of the product itself, those critiques are more penetrating. Time always changes things. Anyway, sorry for talking so much, and thanks for reading. I talk too much I think. If anyone is interested, please feel free to ask away. I feel as though when I'm forced to communicate it something, I often become aware of my own bullshit. It's a nice mechanism.

Oh and I'm sorry I rubbed you the wrong way mvacare23! I hope I didn't come off as self-aggrandizing!
12:14 PM on 01/23/14
lovemetal24
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Brink of Disaster was one, if not the best Mae song ever! I remember at one point I listened to it 38 times in one day….
12:43 PM on 01/23/14
Anton Djamoos
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Seriously good read if you like the band or reading about industy workings.
A fantastic read that makes total sense if you were paying attention to this band at the time. Really sucks that this is the album that kind of broke them apart because I really like the majority of it and don't think that it gets the respect it deserves. 100% agree that "Sometimes I Can't Make It Alone" was a bad choice for first single and the video was crap...wish they would have released "Brink of Disaster" instead.

Very interesting to see what happened to one of my favorite bands.
01:36 PM on 01/23/14
ihaveblink
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Thanks for writing this Zach. I could not for the life of me get into this record. I remember Allmusic gave it a fantastic score and I think APmag did as well. Still love this band and probably my favorite VA band as well.
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