THE APRIL MAZE – ENGLISH/AUSTRALIAN BAND
The April Maze are husband and wife duo Todd and Sivan who are based in Melbourne, Australia. Their unique musical style incorporates 70s Folk, a little Swing Jazz, a little Country and makes a quirky but undeniably perfect mix. Australian born Todd Mayhew (vocals, guitars, banjo) and Sivan Agam (vocals, cello, guitars), who grew up in Harrow, England shared accommodation in Melbourne and immediately connected through music. They married in 2011 and have been spreading a little April Maze joy around various countries playing many festivals.
The duo have this beautiful ear for melodies and harmonies, reminiscent of 70s Folk players, the vocals are effortlessly perfect and their songs emit a good feeling vibe, an honest and pure sound. A little story was shared with me when enquiring more about the band. Todd’s great grandfather was a Canadian Anglican Bishop who, on becoming low on provisions, ate his seaskin boots as sustenance during a tour in 1909. Isaac Stringer’s true story is told in the song “The Bishop Who Atre His Boots” from the album “Sleeping Storm”.
I picked up on the band a few months ago and wanted to find more by the band. They sparked my interest with the video to “I’ve Seen The Rain” from the third album “Sleeping Storm”. A beautifully shot video and merging with the positive, relaxing feel of the song. A really catchy chorus and a hybrid of 70s Psychedelia and Folk, it just made me smile and wanna sing along. The harmonies were like The Everly Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel. Really lovely song.
“Recycled Soul”, the debut album by the band arrived in 2010. There are a lot of musical influences here and hints to various genres. This is what makes them so appealing to me, artists who aren’t one trick ponies, embracing other styles. “The Protest Song” for instance is a cool Jazz Swing track but you could also see it performed as a street busking number. “Where Do They Go” is a 60s/70s slow atmospheric ballad which hints at Psychedelia and also The Carpenters, while the quite gorgeous string/guitar instrumental “The Night Sailor” ends the album perfectly. “Aliens” is one of my favourites, an almost Rock Acoustic number with just Todd’s vocals and there’s even room for a bit of light Reggae on “Deep In Your Heart”. A very impressive first outing.
Two years later in 2012 came the aptly titled “Two”, another selection of brilliantly crafted songs mixed with honest storytelling. “I’ve Just Seen A Face” is akin to Simon and Garfunkel, gorgeous harmonies and a vocal duet between Tood and Sivan, as a fan of Paul and Art I really love this. “Winter” is in a similar vein, and is said to tell the story of Todd’s love-lorn brother’s struggles. “Strawberry Swing” is a slow Blues number and in “Magnolia Tree” Sivan does her best Marilyn Monroe chanteuse. “And We Danced” has a really warm, Folk style that could make you think of Mamas And The Papas and other 70s hippie Folk stylists.
After releasing “The April Maze”, a collection of their songs for UK/Europe release they released the third studio album, “Sleeping Storm” in 2015. Containing the previously mentioned “I’ve Seen The Rain” and rip roaring Folk foot stomper “The Bishop Who Ate His Boots” with 11 other superb tracks. “Don’t Let The Bastards Bring You Down” , a song about Sivan’s experience of bullying is just brillaint, uptempo Jazz/Folk hybrid but gives you a positive feel and a two fingers salute to the bullies of this world. “It’s Been A Long Time Between Beers” is like a Rock/Blues/Folk number that could be like an old Irish sea shanty. The 60s harmonies and melodies return for “Sparks” while the title track is a beautiful lilting lullaby. Let’s hope we hear more from this brilliant duo who deserve global success!
Check out some of these tracks from this talented duo The April Maze –
“The Protest Song”, “Where Do They Go”, “The Night Sailor”, “Aliens”, “Deep In Yur Heart”.
(From “Recycled Soul).
“I’ve Just Seen A Face”, “Winter”, “Strawberry Swing”, “Magnolia Tree”, “And We Danced”.
“I’ve Seen The Rain”, “The Bishop Who Ate His Boots”, “Don’t Let The Bastards Bring You Down”, “It’s Been A Long Time Between Beers”, “Sparks”.
(From “Sleeping Storm”).
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