British folk-pop artist MABES has unveiled details of her new EP Keeping the Noise Down and new single “Might As Well”. In addition, she has shared the whimsical visuals for the EP.
MABES says: “I realized I wanted to create something abstract and thought-provoking that would be digested like one piece of art or a short movie. I wanted each song to represent part of me through my teenage years but all link to each other as a body of work, a ‘fly on the wall’ view into my world. [For example] ‘Keeping The Noise Down’ is a song about me being at a party and feeling very out of place and uncomfortable, and it felt like the perfect setting for a story to evolve. You see music videos where young people are partying and having the time of their lives – it’s almost shoved down our throats to drink, dance, and be happy! But you don’t see the self-conscious or awkward people that don’t enjoy that environment. I wanted to open that conversation, and maybe bring some comfort to those people, to let them know you don’t have to be at the party to be cool – which is a message running through the last scene as I leave.”
“Might As Well” (co-written and produced with artist Quarry) arrives immediately after MABES’ eye-opening experience with cyberbullying. Her 2019 single “America” was coincidentally featured on a popular TikTok video, resulting in thousands of comments falsely accusing the Essex, UK-born artist of being a “Republican Halsey” across her social media and YouTube channel. Approaching this unfortunate onslaught with grace, MABES provided a comedic response on her Instagram which converted online trolls into supporters and additionally inspired a fan club (aka the Mabies) in just under a week. The final track to be revealed seems more timely now, as MABES reflects on the pressures of social media and the challenges she faces with it. On the track she confesses, “Stuck in this place / with my reputation / They know my name / some of them claim to know my information… / Might as well / try to be someone else / It’s hard as hell / wishing I was someone else.”
The new EP, written partly in Nashville last year, is a pure reflection of her interest in Americana and folk music as well as a nod to the community she fell in love with during her time there. Each song on the EP is outfitted with lyrics rooted in folk sensibilities.
MABES elaborates: “I was the ‘new girl’ 3 times throughout my school years, and every time I started somewhere new I thought ‘this will be the time I find my real friends.’ But no matter what, other kids my age were just very different to me. I questioned who I was, what I believed in, and wondered why no one else thought as deep about things as me. I couldn’t find that place where I was comfortable, or where I belonged. My friends were shallow and I couldn’t see the good in anything. The songs in my Keeping The Noise Down EP are a reflection of those times and how it was for me.” She continues, “Although it was a painful time, it’s actually shaped me to be a better, more understanding person in adulthood. For that, I’m glad. Now I’m on a mission to help people out there that feel like I did – ‘the new girl’ – realize they’re not alone and that there’s quite a few of us that just want to keep the noise down…”
Describing her sound as “honest” with “a country twang influenced by pop,” MABES first picked up the guitar at 15 and learned to write by mirroring British act Laura Marling’s folk-poetry. Though oceans away in the UK, MABES developed an admiration for American artists and credits Carole King, Joni Mitchell and John Mayer as some of her influences.