Photo courtesy of Guadalupe Bustos.
Starting 2017 with a bang, the Arizona boys recently commemorated their ten year anniversary with 8123 Fest, a large gathering that saw fans not only fly in from around America to attend this one night of celebration but also from around the world. This year is set to be a busy one for the band as they have recently released the single “Bad Behaviour” from their highly anticipated album Lovely, Little, Lonely which is set to be out April 7, while also announcing new tours left and right.
To celebrate the release of their new single, I’ve decided to compile a list of my top ten songs from across the years while I anxiously wait for their new album. If you’re new to The Maine, this is a good introductory list but I do recommend giving each album a thorough listen because you will undoubtedly form your own personal collection of favourites along the way.
In chronological order:
- We All Roll Along – a classic tune from their first studio album Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop which was released in 2008. Admittedly, I wanted to choose “We’ll All Be” just because they play it at every show but if I had to pick any song from CSWS, it’d be this one. For me, it captures the essence of youth and that sense of invincibility that comes with it. Altogether, lyrically and musically, it truly encapsulates what it feels like to belong.
- Right Girl – my immense love for this song comes down to the sentimentality of it, it being released during one of the most important times in my life — high school. Despite having fond memories of CSWS and B&W, they don’t pack quite the punch as much as their later albums so there aren’t many all-time favourites from their earlier works. Other than that, it’s a hell of a tune, extremely catchy and fun to sing along to.
- Misery – what an iconic era! The Maine cut ties with their major label and released Pioneer in 2012, with Misery being inarguably the strongest song on the record. Going from the pop vibe of B&W to a grittier sound in Pioneer was everything I hoped for and more. This song captures the spirit of the entire album and it’s clear the band had greater creative freedom and the opportunity to experiment with their sound. In particular, this song perfectly highlights each individual member’s musicianship and it’s just a solid rock song.
- Like We Did (Windows Down) – another Pioneer hit! Without fail, The Maine always have that one track in every single album that’s reminiscent of a road trip, staying up late and adventuring with friends. Similar to We All Roll Along, this song again explores the idea of youth and that same feeling of invincibility. This track sounds very nostalgic and ‘daydreamy’ to me, something I’ll listen to when my heads in the clouds.
- Waiting for My Sun to Shine + One Pack of Smokes (hidden track) – as Pioneer is one of my favourite albums, I had to include at least one more track. This is a chill song found at the end of the album and perfectly ties everything together. They successfully captured the apathy of the lyrics and managed to translate that feeling into sound. If you keep listening to the track, you’ll find a hidden gem at the end.
- Good Love – an underrated 2012 track from the Good Love (Pioneer B Sides) EP which tends to get overlooked sometimes. It’s one of those songs where I can’t explain with great articulation why I like it so that probably means that it’s another tune that appeals to me for the sentimental value rather than logical reasoning. It starts slowly and quietly before building into something big, albeit very short and sweet. You’ll have to listen to it yourselves but it’s definitely underrated.
- Raining in Paris – from their 2013 acoustic EP Imaginary Numbers, Raining in Paris not only paints the picture of a hopeless romantic in Paris but also feeling alone in the grand scheme of things, and a sense of emptiness which is represented in the lyrics and O’Callaghan’s voice. It’s a nice comparison of being in the City of Love but not having anyone to share the experience with. Also, you’ll start noticing post-Pioneer that The Maine’s lyrics become more poetic and articulate which adds an extra element to their music. If you feel like listening to a sad song about love, this one’s for you.
- Ice Cave – featured on the 2014 deluxe edition of Forever Halloween, Ice Cave is another underrated track that has a Pioneer-esque vibe to it — experimental and feels like they’re just jamming — which might be a key factor as to why it appeals to me so much, while the majority of FH sounds darker and gloomier than their usual records. Ice Cave has this certain ‘oomph’ and heartiness to it that ends FH on a strong note.
- Am I Pretty? – emerging from the darkness of FH and into, what seems to be, a happier place of 2015’s American Candy, Am I Pretty? is the most upbeat tune on the record and there’s no doubt that you’ll find yourself swaying and bopping to it. I feel like they’re paying a slight homage to CSWS‘s anthem “Everything I Ask For” with the obvious pop vibe but Am I Pretty? is definitely its cooler and older cousin. It’s a fun track and it’s obvious to the listener that they enjoyed making this song. It was also nice to see The Maine grow from FH to American Candy, and as Entertainment Tonight puts it — The Maine did seem to find a happier place with this record, while most importantly still keeping it emo.
- American Candy – I remember listening to American Candy for the first time and this song didn’t resonate with me as much as the others on the record did. It wasn’t until their 2015 Australian tour where I saw it live, that it became one of my all-time favourite songs from them. Seeing this song live and their energy on stage when they performed it irrefutably made this track stick with me. It’s placed as the second last song on the album but it definitely feels like a last track as it sounds very energetic and big, whereas the actual last song “Another Night on Mars” feels like an encore so placing these two songs at the very end is like having the best of both worlds.
With six albums and seven EPs under their belt, in the end I couldn’t nail it down to only ten songs, so I’m going to give some cheeky honourable mentions to:
- (Un)Lost – lyrically one of my favourite songs
- My Hair – a whole song dedicated to O’Callaghan’s hair because, why not?
- I Must Be Dreaming – the essence of young love rolled into a song
- Steal My Sunshine (cover) – this oozes the amount of fun they had recording this
- Happy – contrary to the title, this is a pretty depressing song
- Take Me Dancing – feels like a warm and comforting hug
- When I’m at Home – lyrically strong and cool riffs
You can listen to The Maine’s new single “Bad Behaviour” below. As John from ARTV says, this song is a good indication of what’s to come in their new album Lovely, Little, Lonely but probably won’t be one of my favourites on the record. Unlike their older albums, there isn’t a dramatic shift in sound or aesthetics from its predecessor, so it feels like this grew quite organically from American Candy which is a testament to the fact that they are in a really good place at the moment.