Album Reviews

Maya Jane Coles – Night Creature

(I/AM/ME) UK release date: 29 October 2021

Maya Jane Coles - Night Creature In many ways club music can best be described as an insular microclimate of pop: they both run on singles, they aren’t afraid to repeat an idea that works a couple of hundred times, and when they work that sense of euphoria is right there as it should be. In this spirit, Maya Jane Coles’ new album Night Creature draws on some tried-and-tested ingredients, and sometimes does remarkable things with them.

The record opens with its low key title track, replete with rumbling Reese bass and chunky 4×4 beats, as synths come and go like glaring lights in the darkness. True Love To The Grave features a vocal performance by Claudia Kane which never quite connects with the instrumental, while Run To You (also with Claudia Kane) works better as a song, but by this stage the music has become just too samey.

Devil’s Dance provides a nice change, featuring syncopated dubstep beats and an ominous phasing synth drone, cut-up vocal sequences and a subterranean ostinato. When the house beats return it’s with the best song on here: Hypnotised places the seductive, The Beloved-esque baritone of Lie Ning against a muted, dissonant chord sequence and the effect is sublime (“I’m the freak that they talk about / when you’re with me you shut the world out / come on, come on, come on, you’re what I like”).

The album continues in this vein, with standouts like Got Me and occasional left-turns like Come With Me amongst other songs that are only alright. It also doesn’t help that the album is relatively long, as perhaps a third of the songs are decidedly inessential. Coles is an accomplished producer, and nothing on Night Creature is bad per se, but unfortunately this collection of songs does not work well as an album.

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Maya Jane Coles – Night Creature