David Maine’s debut solo project as MAIN is the sum of it’s many parts. After nearly half a decade of filling in the rhythm section of New York DIY staples like Frankie Cosmos, Maine has set out for a new musical venture in some unfamiliar territory.
The four tracks that make up the EP are in fact the first four songs Maine has ever written and produced on his own. With the EP Maine, who’s known for his tenure in indie rock, has dipped his toes for the first time in electronic production and songwriting. Despite the trial and error that come with starting anything from scratch, Maine pulls together a conviction and willingness to experiment that surpasses his involvement in his other projects. He’s taken careful notes from many of his heroes like James Blake, Madlib, and Tycho, while exploring how that sound can be mimicked with a laptop in a bedroom. His initial EP matches primitive pop with moody arrangements, casting a dark shadow over his previous output. The new sound may come as a surprise to fans, but over all adds context to the young musician who’s spent life on the road for the better part of the past three years.
Despite Maine’s singular effort constructing the music for the release, he also recruited a handful of friends and musical peers to help see his vision through. Emma Tringali of Pop y Obachan lends vocals to the concluding track “Waves,” while Wujong Farrant sings on “Always You” and plays a role in the music video that accompanies it. Ian Reilly worked with Maine to clean up the tracks and eventually mixed and mastered the EP. The result is a distant relative to the acts and producers that Maine was listening to, but fully reflects the world of sparse home recording his previous projects are known for.
Finding the time to dedicate to his personal pursuits hasn’t been easy, with the success and demand of his collaborations. But every late night and moment alone that eventually added up to his first release, helped to shape the spontaneously intimate sound it employs. While his involvement in independent music may come as no shock after spending his formative years in Westchester’s vibrant house show scene, the way Maine has crafted his DEM EP will certainly startle anyone who’s familiar with his past. This debut is a giant pivot from his success in the indie rock safety net, but a pivot that is well earned from his life as a performer thus far.