We've all had that moment.
Maybe it comes after a long day of work, or during your trying commute home. You turn on the radio and, at first, nothing grabs you. But then, a song emerges that can make everything stand still. It could be "Today" by the Smashing Pumpkins or "Where The Streets Have No Name" by U2. But whatever the case, as the music kicks in and the guitars lurch forward, you have that moment. The one when the hairs on your arm stand at full attention and it feels as if you have no other choice but to crank up the volume a bit.
As longtime music aficionados, the members of the modern rock troop Mae have come to know this moment well. "For us, that's what music is about," says singer–guitarist Dave Elkins, who formed the band with drummer Jacob Marshall, and is now joined by guitarist Zach Gehring, bassist Mark Padgett and keyboardist Rob Sweitzer. "I remember listening to Matthew Sweet on my Walkman as a kid and feeling like I was on cloud nine. That's what we want to do for other people. We want to write songs that people connect to."
Though it would take some serious arm–twisting in order for them to admit it, for the past six years, that's exactly what Elkins and his band mates have done. In that relatively brief amount of time, the Virginia Beach–based five–piece have developed a unique and affecting sound that, with albums like 2003's 'Destination: Beautiful' and 2005's 'The Everglow', has scored them a rather sizeable following around the world.
In the band's next release, Singularity (2007) Elkins and his band mates still churn out the kind of soaring ballads that made their first two records such fan favorites. Elkins and his band mates still churn out the kind of soaring ballads that made their first two records such fan favorites.
That particular shift can be heard on "Telescopes," an instantly memorable track that features a grungy guitar line that wouldn't have sounded out of place on an early Soundgarden album, as well as "Sic Semper Tyrannis," a revved up punk tune that will surely soundtrack a few drives to next summer's Warped Tour. Yet, where Singularity contains some of the most energetic and aggressive music that Mae have recorded, it's also an incredibly thought–provoking album, filled with the kind of questions that many ask when trying to seek out their place in the world.
Indeed, throughout 'Singularity', the members of Mae may get into some rather heady material, but more than anything, this is an album that aims to connect with its listeners and maybe even encourage them to crank up the volume just a bit. "That's all we were looking to do with this band," Elkins says in closing. "We're not worried about being considered an 'emo band' or an 'indie band.' We're just a rock band, and we're happy to be given the chance to get our music out there to all of these different people."