Maddie Jay Pulls Inspiration From Everywhere in Debut EP 'Mood Swings' [Premiere]


Photo: Paige Sara

From the lush greens of the wilderness to the crystal blues of the ocean, it was a dramatic change of scenery that provided the backdrop for Maddie Jay's debut EP Mood Swings. Transitioning from living in her isolated hometown in northern Canada to the bustling streets of LA, the singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist has fully embraced both the city's sunshine and little quirks in her debut EP. Jay shared, “Sonically, I was very inspired by California and the sounds that have historically come out of the West Coast like The Beach Boys and Harry Nilsson.”

Before becoming a solo artist, Jay was known for her beyond brilliant bass playing skills. Her talent for crafting exquisite rhythms is ubiquitous on her project. Each song has its own unique swing to it. "Shakes" leads the EP and leans into the bubbly synths and pop-rock adventures from the early 2000s. It's slightly scatterbrained nature draws upon binge-watching of Friends to calm her anxiety. Jay said, “I have an essential tremor (just shaky hands for no reason) that makes me feel very unsteady and unhinged sometimes. It gets worse when I am anxious, and it also makes me anxious when it gets worse. It's a really fun pattern."    

Songs like "Little Love" and "I Got You" see Jay explore the sound of romance through her years. A little hazy and a little starry-eyed, both songs are impeccably smooth around the edges. A beautifully emotional Jay sings of getting butterflies in her stomach the moment she thinks of that special someone.  

Great work is often born from great inspiration. Music is no exception. And with the multitude of influences blooming through Jay's EP, we invited her to share some of the songs that inspired the kaleidoscopic world of  Mood Swings.

Los Terricolas De Freddy Fuentes -  "Viviras"  

When I wrote "Little Love," I was listening to a lot of older hispanic music and modern artists that pull from that world like Cuco and Los Retros. This particular style with the piercing organ/synth line, simple melody and classic chords definitely inspired the crooning aspect and progressions in "Little Love" as well as "Mood Swings."

Tobias Jesso Junior -  "Can’t Stop Thinking About You"

I really wanted to include a simple ballad on this EP, especially since I was listening to Tobias Jesso Jrs. record Goon on repeat last year. I found lots of lyrical inspiration on that record, as it explores the LA experience in a very moody and specific way that I wanted to capture, but also he talks about love in such a beautifully simple way. I would say both "Mood Swings"  and "I Got You" pulled a bit from him.

Prince -  "1999"

I used a lot of drum machine sounds throughout the EP, including an '80s Linn Drum machine. I first heard that sound on "1999" by Prince and fell in love.

Still Woozy -  "Vacation"  

I discovered this track right when he put it out, and I was completely mesmerized by the production. If you listen to this song, you will notice lots of vocal production and synth inspirations throughout the EP.

The Beatles - "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"  

I have always been a huge Beatles fan, and pulled a lot of chordal and instrumental choices from this track, "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Across The Universe" and a bunch more.

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