marc maynon music reviews


Marc Maynon Download Jesus Album Cover
Download Jesus
2013

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Download Jesus (Independently released CD EP, Pop)
Marc Maynon is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter in San Francisco who describes his sound as "a hybridization of Robbie Williams and The Sleepy Jackson." Mixed by Adam Munoz and mastered by Ken Lee, this self-produced EP presents four smart solid songs with intelligent lyrics. All of these cuts sound like potential hits. Marc has a great knack for creating memorable winding melodies and words that you won't soon forget ("I am a man of many faces. Be sure you know which one you kiss.") If you appreciate pop artists like Ben Folds and The Pearlfishers there's a good chance you'll totally get what Maynon is all about. Our favorites here are "Man of Many Faces" and "Challenge of Extremes." This young fellow is heading in the right direction with a super bright future ahead of him. babysue April 2014


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When listening to Download Jesus, the debut effort from songwriter Marc Maynon, one is instantly struck by his strong vocal presence. This makes sense given Maynon's background in theatre and the development of his voice as instrument and tool. This EP is chock full of tasteful production mixed with a light airy sound that could easily have found a home in 1970's Laurel Canyon as well as any contemporary playlist. Though his lyrical content can border on the cliché at times he has all the other ingredients to produce ethereal beautiful tunes for years to come. Incorporating bright and sunny harmonies into the first track, Man of Many Faces, Maynon leaves room for the lead guitar line to weave in and out of the song. When he warns the antagonist to, make sure you know which one you kiss, Maynon begins the word play that will run throughout the album, that he sees himself as both devil/angel as not afraid to shy away from this perception. For without getting in touch with one's darker side, one cannot truly become the angel they desire to be. In the second track, Carnival Light, is more languid, dreamlike as it evokes the spent energy of the carnival after the crowds have left and the sugar buzz has faded. Maynon does an excellent job of keeping his eyes and ears (as well as his heart) open as his love walks away. She leaves him to adjust to this new life, this carnival life and all it entails. Heartbreak never sounded so comforting. Morrissey would be proud. Maynon's vocals particularly stand out in the track Under A Stone. Maynon's voice can encompass a breathy vulnerability to strong passion at the turn of phrase. The vocal harmonies that Maynon is able to layer throughout Download Jesus remind one of the best of The Carpenters mixed in with early solo work by Paul McCartney. A bright future is ahead of Marc Maynon. Tate Swindell – Unrequited Records


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Under A Stone is a folk-pop tune mixed by Adam Munoz, mastered by Ken Lee, and produced/recorded by Marc Maynon. It's the final song off Marc’s 2013 EP Download Jesus. As a singer born in New York and raised in California, Marc knows how to encapsulate the nostalgic essence of a cleverly-constructed and beautifully-executed tune by creating seemingly-magical musical arrangements. The three-minute song is poignant, poetic, and laced with feel-good chords. Under A Stone opens with a piano line, a swishy percussive beat, and a little bass-line with backup vocals accompanying Marc’s vocals. The drums kick in with backup vocals and swishy instrumental sounds with a classic, 1970s folk-pop sound that takes on a bit of British musical influences. The scintillating guitars, uppity percussion, and melodic vocal arrangements make this especially enthralling. The piano tune is backed by Marc’s vocals, which are akin to Ben Folds and the late – Owsley. The power pop mid-song vocal calisthenics are very soothing and never loud. This vocal display leads into an instrumental portion, which continues on to the end of the song with nothing more than a minute of sparkling electric guitar sounds, swishy percussion, and gentle bass noises that are very therapeutic and engaging. Overall, Marc Maynon’s new song, Under A Stone, brings together great vocals, pensive piano, adventurous percussion, and catchy melodies for a truly magnificent result. The jingly guitars, electric guitars, drums, backup vocals, and other musical nuances create a memorable reaction. The three-minute song seems to go on forever, which is a very good thing. The musical genres represented revolve around Brit-folk/rock, psychedelic rock, Baroque rock, and folk-pop. Anyone with an interest in power pop-rock with piano, drums, guitars, and great vocals should check out Marc Maynon’s Under A Stone today. Anyone with ears will love it. Rating: 5 stars (out of 5) Matthew Forss


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Fans of classic and Adult rock might want to take note of this little gem by songwriter Marc Maynon titled Download Jesus. As the first track Man of Many Faces implies, there are many different influences and sounds permeating this release. The opening track has a breezy 70’s rock sound and a warm analogue tone that’s missing from alot of modern music. Next is Carnival Light is also a lighthearted affair with a folk rock vibe, almost poetic in nature. Think Jim Croce storytelling, the melodies have a very natural progression. It doesn’t try too hard to impress you with grandeur though the constant slow motion movement of the song is interesting and engaging. Challenge of Extremes really captures the essence of 70’s AOR, like a cross between Elton John and John Fogerty... it’s a ballad and sort of a sing along. The piano guiding us through. Ben Folds would be proud. The e.p. rounds out with Under a Stone continues in it’s mellow immersion, with some impressive vocal harmonies singing it’s ok. A hint of AltCountry guitars guide the song into a fairly pleasant conclusion. All in all Download Jesus is a cheerful and relaxing e.p. full of songs that take the listener to another time in rock and roll history... It’s a nice nod to the songwriting greats of the 70’s while keeping things original enough to carve it’s own identity. Doug Garnett – SKOPE – January 23, 2014


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In 2005, UCLA alumnus Marc Maynon snuck into a music practice room in Shoenberg Hall with his friend Bobby Parker. Since that day, the pair has traversed the Sunset Strip and venues across Los Angeles and San Francisco. I think it started when we snuck in and (Maynon) played the piano and I played a trash can with drumsticks, Parker said. It was pretty ridiculous. Maynon’s most recent album, Download Jesus, released on Oct. 19, 2013. He said his album takes listeners through four tracks of builds, backing instrumentals and arrangements. He has trained in singing, acting and dancing, and earned a degree in musical theater. While at UCLA, he played two shows at the recently closed Westwood Brewing Company along with Parker as guitarist. At the time, they played together in a band, Leonine, which Maynon said had a classic rock sound. Maynon and his band members would travel to Venice, Pico-Robertson and the Sunset Strip to play at concert venues and open mic shows, which Maynon said opened up the doors to a non-college environment. Playing music live in L.A. was sort of responsible for getting us off campus, which I think is just as valuable of an experience for a student at UCLA as staying on, Maynon said. I think that going off campus is where you find more of who you are as a person and not just a student. Download Jesus is Maynon’s first professionally produced album. During the writing and recording process, he said that he also promoted the album and tried to raise funds for it. Maynon’s brother J Krey, a graphic designer, created the artwork for the album and plays drums on the record. I call it folk-rock pop, Maynon said. The album has (several) major influences: 60s psych rock, late 90s-to-early-2000s Brit pop, classic rock and classic folk rock and glam rock. The album title, Download Jesus, was influenced by a concept from the movie Underworld. Maynon said that in the film, when a werewolf bites somebody, it downloads the entirety of its consciousness into the one it has bitten. In addition, his father, a pastor, enjoys sharing scholarly papers on theology with Maynon and receiving feedback. Maynon said that one day he came to wonder, What if, in a way, we are downloading Jesus’ consciousness similar to the phenomenon in Underworld. Parker plays guitar on the first track of Download Jesus, titled Man of Many Faces. He said that the album is personal but also very easy to connect with and is layered with many sounds that Maynon has experimented with. It’s definitively rock, Parker said. Some of the songs have that Billy Joel-esque piano rock, and then there’s some that are more on the folk side, like Cat Stevens and Neil Young. It all has this 90s Brit pop filter as well. Maynon and Parker have composed music for a short film by director Herman Ming titled Techno Bubble. Ming said that Maynon is able to adapt to anything that he needs to do musically. There aren’t any sort of limitations on his part, in terms of genre or style of music, Ming said. He has his own personal interests, which is very apparent in the album he just released; but in terms of working with others, he can adapt. Ming, who has been to several of Maynon’s shows and performances at open mics in Los Angeles, described the musician’s presence on stage as energetic and able to capture the spirit of the songs as well. It’s a very fun album to listen to, Ming said. It’s a combination of a slight pop sound, but then also a hint of melancholy and nostalgia. Maynon said his background in acting has given him a love for the stage. He currently resides in San Francisco, frequently playing open mics at notable locations around the city. (Bobby G’s Pizzeria) has to be the coolest open mic venue that I have ever seen, Maynon said. They have a house band that will play your songs with you, and almost all the time if you go, you will play. By far, for me, it’s a huge step up from the places I used to play in L.A. Maynon said that the open mic venues in Los Angeles are generally oversaturated. He has played frequently around Los Angeles for the past seven years and recorded several other independent albums along the way. If you are really crazy about music, then go for it, Maynon said. Make it your thing and start investing in puting yourself out there. Take that one thing you love and do it.
Max Mcgee – The Daily Bruin – January 8, 2014