Ears Wide Open: Mae Mae

Mae Mae (Photo by John Harzan)

Atlanta-bred singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Macy Marksberry makes nimble, wry pop songs released under the guise Mae Mae (and before that, Macy Todd).

Now stationed in Southern California, Marksberry has been working with producer-songwriter Adam Castilla (The Colourist), who has collaborated with a host of L.A. artists, including Fever Joy, Younger Hunger, Armors and King Shelter. Their alliance has proven fertile; the debut Mae Mae EP, “Gummy Heart Eyes,” was released in January.

Whether she is cooing the inner workings of her heart or speak-singing sharply observational diary entries, Mae Mae exudes plenty of charisma. It’s evident in the two follow-up singles, “Peach” (released in October) and “Green,” out today.

“Peach” is a nod to her home turf. “I gotta lust/hate relationship / with the place I call my home / with the place that built these bones,” she sings.

“I wrote ‘Peach’ trying to sort through my feelings on growing up in the South,” Mae Mae says. “On one hand, I’ve always felt a sense of pride in my upbringing. There’s a charm about the people and communities that I realize now is hard to come by. On the other hand, there’s a lot about the South that I’d prefer to leave behind. I struggle with missing it, and simultaneously wanting to get as far away as possible from it.”

“Green,” a jaunty piano ditty with Castilla’s value-added production, finds the songwriter similarly conflicted. “I wrote ‘Green’ in the midst of feeling pessimistic about the future,” she says. “I wasn’t necessarily believing what I was writing at the time, but rather trying to change my outlook through the process of creating it. The song grew into its own thing that I feel really embodies the idea of looking ahead to greener pastures while sitting in the dead space of a creative rut.”

The two recent singles will appear on Mae Mae’s next EP, due early next year.

||| Watch: The videos for “Green”

||| Also: Stream “Peach”

||| Also: Stream the “Gummy Heart Eyes” EP in its entriety