Blonde Maze, the moniker of New York City musician Amanda Steckler, has tickled our auditory senses for the past few months. We’ve featured her first two singles on a previous Weekend Showcases (April 3 and May 8). However, singles only give you a quick peek inside the artist. It is on albums – whether EPs or LPs – where we truly discover who the artist is, from their style to what drives them to what they’re trying to achieve and communicate.
On her debut EP, Oceans, there is a vulnerability in Steckler’s music. Despite the electronic and synthetic beats, underneath is Steckler transposing her innermost fears and emotions on to people and other objects. It is a talent that Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES and Hayley Williams of Paramore have perfected, and Steckler through her alter-ego is mastering.
On “Summer Rain”, Blonde Maze takes two elements – heat and water – to describe two people and the chemistry they have. Which one is Steckler is unknown, but like a summer rain there is both relief and withdrawal. “Awake / Asleep” is that grasping for someone’s attention, a person who haunts your every thought and leaves you a precarious position.
The stellar “Ocean on Fire” continues the duo contractions in the song titles and the push-pull feelings Steckler has for an individual and the questions she has about him. The song showcases the underlying brilliance of Steckler as a musician and songwriter, using the ocean as the immense space of opportunity and fire as the means to ignite it. Where “Ocean on Fire” sought forgiveness, “Letters I Never Send” is one of regret and remorse, having lost something – something that may have been real or only perceived.
One thing that is clear on Oceans is that Blonde Maze or Amanda Steckler may be a songwriter of riddles and contradictions, but one would a tremendous future. Her debut EP is startling for its honesty and stunning beauty, an EP that is simply terrific.
Hear Oceans in its entirety on SoundCloud or buy it on iTunes and Amazon.
Website – blondemaze.com
Facebook – Blonde Maze
Twitter – @blondemaze
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