Track x Track: MAY-A - ANALYSIS PARALYSIS
Aussie pop-indie-rock singer-songwriter follows-up a sold-out national tour with her sophomore EP that she took us through, track by track
Image credit: Xinger Xanger
MAY-A is having a huge 2023. Having recently completed a sold out national tour and following a string of singles and music videos, the young rising Aussie singer-songwriter has released her sophomore EP, ANALYSIS PARALYSIS - after having just celebrated only her twenty second birthday.
Speaking on the EP, MAY-A says “Analysis Paralysis describes an individual or group process where over analyzing or overthinking a situation can cause forward motion or decision-making to become "paralysed", meaning that no solution or course of action is decided upon within a natural time frame.
The first EP Don’t Kiss Ur Friends felt endearingly innocent and lovestruck. It was self-discovery. Analysis Paralysis feels like anger while feeling displaced. Flip-flopping from the highs and lows of “nothing matters” mentality.
I feel as though I played things very safe with the first lot of music as I was still navigating the processes of songwriting and connecting to listeners, this time around I am leaning into the confusion, experimentation and sounds and I’ve only just started to find something that feels a little different. That’s what this EP is for me.”
ANALYSIS PARALYSIS also comes ahead of a huge 21-date North American tour next month before MAY-A returns to Australia to play the Spilt Milk festivals. To celebrate the EP’s release, MAY-A was kind enough to take us through it, track by track:
This song feels like a sweeter sibling to ‘Sweat You Out My System’ or a continuation of ‘Swing of Things’ from my first EP, Don’t Kiss Ur Friends. Continuing the theme of being addicted to somebody that you’re not quite able to kick. The sad familiarity of a person, their house and their things, no matter how much time you spend away from them, everything feels like it goes back to that first time you were together when you see them again.
‘Your Funeral’ started out as a bit of a laugh in the studio! I wanted to write something that felt super LA to me. The concept is pretty up front lyrically. The majority of my songs have felt pretty relationship-based thus far - this one in particular coming at the angle of being with someone where you’re ignoring the red flags in each other yet both trying to point out your own. Although there’s a joke-tone throughout the song, when you get to the bridge it feels more self-deprecating and self reflective, “that’s so juvenile/ cus this is the usual / if you really think that we’re suitable / then that’s your funeral” - if you think we’re truly destined to work out then that is on you, because it’s clearly not the case.
‘LOLA’ feels more nonchalant and raw (production wise) compared to the other songs on the EP. It’s written about that weird kind of feeling when you can be so pure and honest with somebody when you’re alone, but they feel like a different person in public. A strange type of self-contained isolated relationship. ‘LOLA’ is giving up on trying to get through to somebody who doesn’t seem like they want to be with you at all.
Sweat You Out My System
Writing this song felt like it opened so many doors in my brain to other types of music I’m excited to make. A structured collage of rap-style moments, guitar riffs, yelling and hooks. SYOMS is also pretty up-front lyrically - it plays on the idea of being completely addicted to someone “missing you like a little kid / waiting for you to get back / I wish for you in my veins/so addicted it’s insane”. The whole song stays on theme of the feeling of trying to ‘quit’ someone (hence- sweating them out like drugs), because fuck going back!
Again, a song of trying to remind yourself of the bad things that occurred in your previous relationship when you can’t help but remember it in a positive light. Giving in to going back to someone. If hate-sex was a song, honestly.
‘Guilty Conscience’ was a fun song to experiment with darker tones. The lyrics are more attacking and accusatory than other songs on my discography, filled with rhetorical questions and angrier phrases. That unsettling speculation of a partner blatantly lying to your face. An ode to being gaslit.
This is my favourite song on the EP. David Byrne (Talking Heads) talks a bunch in his book about the way that certain bands write songs for the spaces they want to perform in. U2 are notorious for their anthemic arena-sounding albums and I wanted to adopt that mentality in writing a song that feels like it could be played in a giant room. The heavily delayed and reverbed vocals, deep, round sounding drums and continuing guitar riffs. Playing with vocal tone and cadence was a massive difference in writing this EP, I feel like it is showcased well in this track. It feels dramatic in the exact way I intended. The bridge is definitely my favourite.