mxmtoon – dusk EP

mxmtoon - dusk



4.8/5 Pros

  • Intimate and authentic young pop music
  • Pointing to the stories told in a very simple, but genius way
  • Simply fascinating

In fact, mxmtoon released her EP dusk already on 1st October 2020. I ran into her music while scanning the 2nd October 2020 new releases – and just felt to share her music with you. Maybe you know her already (in contrast to me before writing to the album) – on Spotify only, one million people are following mxmtoon with a monthly impressive number of more than six million listeners.

mxmtoon – About the Artist

Maia, was born on 9th July 2000 in Oakland, California, in the San Francisco Bay. Her mother is Chinese-American, her father has German and Scottish background. She herself describes her cultural background as Chinese, though. Her name mxmtoon was the name for her Instagram, which she initially used for cartoon sketches. Nowadays, she is an important influencer with close to 800,000 followers on Instagram only. Just using the GarageBand software and USB microphone, she started to record music in her parents’ bedroom. After failing to record funny songs, she wrote more emotional tracks. Her feelings are fatal has 56 million streams on Spotify only. Falling for U is her most popular track with some 150 million streams until now. She regularly released music EP, starting with her debut plum blossom (2018). After her debut album the masquerade in 2019, dusk is already her second EP released in 2020 – the first collection of seven tracks this year was dawn.


mxmtoon – dusk – Track by Track

The seven song EP lasts 22 minutes.

1. bon iver

Playing Bon Iver on late night drives
My window, moon, and fireflies
Holding onto moments that we found
Even when the sun goes down

The first track is referring to Bon Iver, a US folk band. The song is very simplistic, fragile – as the whole album. I love the way mxmtoon focuses on her voice, on the story she wants to tell.

2. ok on your own (feat. Carly Rae Jepsen)

Having Carly Rae Jepsen as your support for this is track is of course quite amazing. The song feels very radio-ready, a bit more mature than other songs on the EP (having said that, I also have to add that the not-that-mature sound is maybe one of the key characteristics of the album). Beautiful collaboration.

3. myrtle ave.

Though everything’s been broken
You’re complete
When everyone’s gone sour
You’re so sweet

As said in the introduction, I have to admit that I did not know Maia before I ran into this EP. What an amazing talent. Again, she is just doing what is necessary to tell what she wants to tell in this song. What may sound far too thin in the first seconds, turns into more and more genius.

4. wallflower

I don’t wanna stand out
I don’t wanna stand out
Live my life in a wallflower garden
With my friends and the fickle hearted
I don’t wanna stand out
I don’t wanna stand out
No one told me when I started
Now I’m wishing I could hide it
I don’t wanna stand out

This track is just supported by piano and some violin sound – just what is needed to support her voice in a lovely ballad. These compact arrangements lead to a very direct and intimate atmopshere in mxmtoon’s songs. She is just catching me.

5. asking for a friend

The more I listen to the EP, the more it fascinates me. Needless to say that the instrumentation is very limited again. You hear the piano, you spot some strings, some rhythm here and then. The last minute of the song is then some more rhythmic and (instrumentally) more atmospheric parts.

6. show and tell

Cause we’re
Floating in the the air
Our feet are grounded on the earth
But our thoughts are way out there
And we’re
Having sleepless nights
Losing puzzle pieces for ourselves
We need to feel alright

show and tell is the longest track on the EP, some four minutes. I enjoy the metaphoric language, but I love other tracks on the album more.

7. first

It’s odd that I can write these songs
Never knowing right from wrong
But when I finally found
That my heart could pound
The chapter seemed to end

The very melodic final track is partially supported by ukulele sounds and thus even reminds a bit of Hawaiian music – other parts are dominated by electric tunes, so that the track feels like a travel through different music styles.


mxmtoon – dusk – Spotify

Here is the Spotify link to dusk:


mxmtoon – dusk – My View

While I listened to dusk, I very often thought about mainstream country music and mainstream in music. So often, music is pressed into certain structures, schemes to make it fit to an expectation somebody set up because it is felt that this is commercial, successful. mxmtoon feels like the perfect opposition to it. She is just doing music. Her music. And she just takes what it absolutely needs to tell and support her stories. She does it authentic and in high quality. And thus, she is more successful than a lot of mainstream music which might be lacking some characteristic, signature elements.

Due to that reason, dusk was refreshing to me. And amazing. It is one of the EPs this year I am most thankful to have been in contact with. Good luck for your future career, Maia. This is truely a Top Pick! to me.


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