Born from a young perfectionist’s downward spiral of indecision, Overthinker is a confident, polished and mature debut from Swiss/American pop artist Liam Maye. Though he laments “I forgot who I was” in the EP’s first single “Note To Self,” it’s clear that his unique voice as an artist makes him who he is.
Raised in Switzerland by his American mother (a Greeley native, performer and professional vocalist) and his Swiss father (himself an accomplished pianist and composer) Maye has been surrounded by both music and a multi-cultural lifestyle since birth, and it shows.
After briefly attending school in Boulder, CO and participating in eTown’s HandMade Songs program in 2015, Maye returned to his native Switzerland to find himself, both as an adult and an artist. Luckily for fans of smart, introspective pop, he’s committed his journey to song.
At only 21 years of age, Maye’s gift for vocal delivery and earnestness in songwriting shine in support of his mixed-genre style. Perhaps a nod to his trans-continental experiences, Maye blends synth soul-pop aesthetics the likes of Troye Sivan, The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships or even Lorde, with pop’s unexpected distant cousin: spoken word.
At the EP’s emotional center is, surprisingly, its outlier: “Tame A Tiger.” A heartfelt rap-like rant atop acoustic piano and synth washes, the track puts us in directly in Maye’s conflicted mind where he grapples with artistry, the futility of existence and even spirituality. “These empty words won’t help me up,” Maye spits, somehow recalling “Hangman” by the UK rapper Dave. It’s an indication that hip-hop’s global influence has reached even the slopes of Switzerland, but it’s moreso a testament to Maye’s versatility and willingness to take risks.
Both Maye’s pop sense of hip-hop flow and delicate melody are delivered so naturally on the beautifully produced Overthinker, it’s impossible not to see him as a candidate for global notoriety in the very near future.
The EP’s sparkling closer “Something New” imparts “I’m way too young to know what love’s about, but I made a plan so won’t you hear me out?” In the case of spinning this EP, we’ll gladly hear him out again and again.