Review: Mxmtoon’s album “Dusk” illustrates good, bad in relationships


A black and white photo of Maia, otherwise known as mxmtoon, stands illuminated against a wall. “Throughout the album, Maia beautifully addresses beginning and ending a relationship,” writer Rusty Joe Gonzales said. “Her latest work is worth the listen. Plus, it tells a great story — even a few stories — in seven songs.”

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Maia, otherwise known by her artist pseudonym “mxmtoon” online and through her music, is an Oakland, Calif., native who moved to New York City. She has branched out from her music into podcasts, and like every teenager and young adult, posts frequently on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Despite becoming a more “mainstream” artist, she still keeps a close and intimate relationship with her fans via posts on social media, just like any non-celebrity person would, including memes and other hot topics that currently siege the internet’s attention. Maia released her new album “Dusk” on Friday, October 2. The album falls in her traditional genre of bedroom pop, and she explores the idea of beginnings and endings in this seven-track episode. Her latest work is worth the listen. Plus, it tells a great story — even a few stories — in seven songs.

“bon iver”

Kobalt Music Group

In the first track of the EP, Maia addresses the theme of the album, one of the contrasts between beginnings and endings, accompanied almost solely by the ukulele that she is known for, along with some piano. Maia sings about a love and relationship where she feels comfortable, and that without the person at the receiving end of the song, nothing she knows feels familiar. Overall, it is a beautiful track, and an awesome way to start off the album.

“ok on your own (ft. Carly Rae Jepsen)”

Kobalt Music Group

Coming out of the seemingly picture-perfect relationship that Maia sings about in the first song, this one is more of a break-up song, possibly from a rather toxic relationship with the lyrics “I can’t complete you, baby, find solace in your soul,” and “I need some time to myself, to gain some confidence.” This might lead the listener to believe that the person Maia and Carly are singing about was someone who tore them and their confidence down enough to where they feel the need to end the relationship. Overall, this song has a more classic pop vibe while still maintaining the key instruments that Maia typically has in her songs. The way that both the artists sing in this track is cold and bitter in contrast with the previous track and the one to follow.

“myrtle ave.”

Kobalt Music Group

This song starts out with a sadder, or at least calmer, sounding piano, showing Maia’s mood and attitude at the beginning when she first meets the person that she is singing about. Starting in the pre-chorus and going into the full chorus, a guitar strum picks the rhythm up, which then goes into a backing of drums. All of these instruments show a change in Maia’s mood, from sadness caused by her previous relationship to admiration and attraction to the new person in her life as she starts to feel more and more comfortable in the relationship.


Kobalt Music Group

In the fourth track of the album, Maia illustrates her struggle between her innate nature of shyness and her underlying need to not be alone. Throughout the song, a slow, melancholic piano melody coupled with an adagio violin harmony brings the feelings of her sorrow with this internal struggle to life. The background of the track is soft, allowing the listener to focus in on Maia’s lyrics and truly feel the emotions she tries to portray.

“asking for a friend”

Kobalt Music Group

In this track, Maia conveys a common struggle people grapple with daily: the doubt that comes when expressing romantic feelings. Through her lyrics, she describes a story of her telling someone how she feels, but says she is — like the title — only “asking for a friend” because she believes she isn’t good enough. Through lyrics like “nothing to gain to just be with me,” Maia perfectly articulates the feelings of insecurity and doubt that come with relationships. The instrumentals consist of a soft, steady drumbeat mixed with a gentle piano melody. Both combine to give the song a faster, less gloomy feel. This song also connects to the previous track “wallflower” with lyrics like “it’s a universal thing to want someone you know,” which brings the listener back to Maia’s struggle of her introverted nature and loneliness.

“show and tell”

Kobalt Music Group

“Show and tell” lyrics perfectly describe the way that life can sometimes become too much for us. Maia’s relatable lyrics such as “I’m not gonna lie, it’s harder to try, waking up each morning,” draw listeners in, making them feel like this song is truly written for them. Show and tell has a simple, but still intriguing, tune that couples beautifully with the lyrics, allowing anyone having a bad day or week to relate.


Kobalt Music Group

Concluding the album “First” details the pains of losing people and chapters of life-ending. The lyrics reflect the difficulty of moving on and learning from your past. Starting with a simplistic tune highlighting a ukulele the song’s tune continues to grow in prominence and adds more elements such as techno sounds and a simple drum beat. Maia beautifully finishes with the lyrics “the chapter had to end” leaving the listener longing for more.