EP Review: Maijah – Star-Fairy

Maijah is a Portland, USA-based alternative pop artist who I’ve really been digging over the past six months. Her past few singles I’ve shared have been really impressive, so when I saw she her debut EP, I knew I had to give it a listen. It’s called Star-Fairy and here’s my track by track review.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Gemma Cross

It’s hard to pin down Maijah’s sound and her EP is only predictable through its unpredictableness. Across its six tracks, Maijah journeys through different genres with ease, starting with the retro pop-RnB stylings of Sparkly. Playing with glitchy instrumental textures and vocal harmonies, it sets out Maijah’s unique form of experimental pop perfectly.

Sparkly gives way to the Latin-pop infused Cinnamon. Delicate acoustic guitar interplays with electronic bass beats while Maijah goes about seducing a mysterious protagonist with her image-laden lyrics. Unexpected flicks of harp give the chorus a fresh feel.

Track three is Autumn Vibes, a track I’ve previously shared on the blog. It represents Maijah’s sound at its most atmospheric, making use of ambient rain and thunder sounds to create the sonic equivalent of a grey but cosy day. It’s moody but not melancholic. In fact, Maijah is welcoming the change of season and by the end you might become a Autumn-loving convert. Set here at the end of the EP’s first half, it proves to be a highlight.

There is more ambience delivered through tightrope. An exercise in less is more, the track is a tear-jerker. Maijah’s vocals feel isolated and vulnerable against the instrumental minimalism. Lyrically, it speaks of being so seduced by love that you’re willing to hold onto any positive sign, even when the love is not requited. As the track progresses, the instrumentals become cinematic, with traces of psychedelia.

My Time comes next. A piece of pure pop, it speaks with confidence, of both the body and character kind. Again, Maijah brings a cinematic style, which is constantly evolving. It keeps the listener on their toes while utterly seducing them.

The EP closes with Magnetize. It neatly ties together the pop and R&B elements that run through the whole EP, while still offering something new to Maijah’s sound through experimental percussion. The lyrics are beautifully descriptive, and draw from the same well of confidence that My Time does.

This collection from Maijah is, in a word, breathtaking. It’s frankly criminal that she’s not blowing up the charts right now. Her voice is utterly unique while remaining accessible to fans of modern pop. Don’t sleep on Maijah. She’s got everything she needs to be huge. You can check out the whole of Star-Fairy below.