MayMay, or Laurel Simmons as she is also known, releases her debut album ‘And So I Place You In the Setting Sun’ this week. It’s a record that, as she explains herself, ‘was written while processing the elements of love and the experience of letting go of love or rather where to keep love while time is changing it.’ Simmons talks DIY through her first ever full length, track by track, with a premiere of the album streaming in full below.
1. Setting Sun
The idea came while driving on Route 66 to Flagstaff, Arizona during sunset. This song set the tone for the theme of the album. It was the first song recorded, one very hot July day in Portland, Oregon.
2. The Fall
Written on my back porch after one of the last conversations that I had with my grandfather, knowing that he would be passing on soon, ‘I can’t take the arrows, coming down your way, but I’m on your side’. I was also finding peace in the unseen, for example, ‘lean into the wind, it will last like we said it would.’
3. Stories We Lived
This is just a good old fashioned song about falling in love, an experience that I was having during the writing of the song.
4. If It Remains Light
This was written and recorded in a day. The words, a much-needed lullaby, were found easily. The original recording unintentionally captured the singing of birds outside in my garden, an element that I found restorative.
5. Lines to Water
Written for a friend of mine as he wandered through some confusing times. ‘And when that new life you’ve made, is turning all straight lines to water, won’t you call out our names’ was written as an ode to transition.
6. In the Fields
Words for this music came after thinking about magnetic fields and also the ever-present reality of being pulled in opposite directions, while trying to move in one certain direction. ‘You name us by the early sun, you know us by and now we do what we do, in between where we have been and where we will be.’
7. Bringing Home
A song about the mending properties of coming home and also being home for someone else. The song was written on my living room piano, while looking through the opened door at a very large oak tree in my neighbourhood.
Was meant to resemble, musically, the movement of a water current. The opposing currents in an undertow and the fact that it returns water to the sea, felt like an appropriate metaphor for the song.
9. Winter Air
Written for someone that was once very present in my life. ‘Are you still where you said you’d be, in the winter air, calling after me?’ In this song, music brought to the surface certain questions and declarations, that I found myself unable to be expresses in any other form.The sounds in the outro are a blend of organs and effected voices in a church.
MayMay’s new album ‘And So I Place You In The Setting Sun’ is out now.