By Hannah Compton
It’s not every day that I will sit down and listen to an artist I have never heard before and be hooked right from the start, and it’s not every day that I will remember every song off an EP or an album from the first listen. However, today is one of those days and Mae Valley are one of those artists.
Mae Valley are a country music duo from New Zealand who recently appeared on New Zealand X Factor but sadly did not win but that isn’t a bad thing right? If New Zealand X Factor is anything like X Factor in the UK then you are better off not winning and by looking at their career so far, I would say it has not hurt them in the slightest.
Abby Christodoulou and Hannah Cosgrove who make up Mae Valley have just released their debut EP via Sony Music New Zealand. On the strength of their EP – Mae Valley have secured a country musicians dream support slot on the New Zealand leg of Keith Urban’s Rip Cord Tour which Carrie Underwood is also a part of. Is there a better tour out there for them? Doubt it! They will have the best of both artists fandoms and will no doubt attract a huge following of all ages after this tour.
Listening to Mae Valley’s EP – Their success so far is more than deserved. From the first song off the EP – Brightside, the girls instantly reminded me of UK country music duo Ward Thomas. As well as the girls having a similar style vocally as Lizzy and Catherine Ward Thomas, they also share a very similar style sonically. Abby and Hannah’s harmonies are beautifully matched, complimenting each others individual talent throughout the EP.
What I love about this EP is the Country/Folk element which is happily featured on most of the songs. The music as a whole is instantly likeable and endlessly playable and this is an EP that I will without a doubt be championing.
With it being an EP – there are only five songs which for me, is not enough and I look forward to a full album soon.
Brightside – this is a track I can imagine on Ward Thomas‘ current album Cartwheels. The song is a perfect combination of folk and country with a very exciting, catchy and highly memorable chorus. The melody is gorgeous with an uplifting and fun toe- tapping beat.
Hurricane – this song has more of a pop sound to it. It is more of a slow tempo song with lovely harmonies throughout and a nice steady beat and glorious melody.
I Won’t Be Long – so far, my favourite off the EP. Another powerfully folk driven track with stunning vocals and a sweet, peaceful melody that is truly infectious with a hauntingly beautiful sound.
Glitter – the most pop sounding track off the ep. Whilst I do like this song, I find this version has less appeal than the other tracks and is not as mature sounding as the rest of the EP. However, I can imagine it being a fan favourite and one of those songs that is killer in a live performance and I did find an acoustic version which gave the song a totally different picture. All that being said, the lyrics and the message are very moving and inspiring and well worth a listen. I have posted the studio version and acoustic version to appreciate the lyrical content and melody in both versions.
Home – another song full of perfect harmonies and an exciting country folk melody. Hannah and Abby’s voices are sung in Unison throughout this song and their vocal talents really stand out. This song has a traditional folk feel to it which is charmingly delightful and irresistibly addictive to listen to.
Overall, this is an exiting and gripping EP which leaves you wanting to hear more of their music. I predict great things for Mae Valley. They fit perfectly into the country music scene and I can certainly see them having a home here in the UK.
I recommend this EP to fans of female singers, to Folk and country lovers and especially fans of Ward Thomas.
You can download Mae Valley’s EP here:
Mae Valley – EP by Mae Valley