Midsummer Music by Maxwell Demon: Aurora

With a fine sense of the right time and place, Maxwell Demon, a singer and musician from Long Island featured here a couple of times before, has released a new album on his Soundcloud page, Aurora; at least in comparison to his first, the sound is brighter, the tempo more even-⁠keeled, and so the season is clearly not passing him by: in these songs we’ve been provided with a sampler of some of the different moods of a midsummer music.

Three tracks may be cited as representative.

The album begins with a number which anthologises several of the concerns harboured by the young and disaffected currently, “Cross” (perhaps it could just as well be entitled “Doublecross”), and which with some luck and more exposure could – this possibility is conceivable – serve as an anthem for those who still seek one; nor is it by chance that its conclusion comes quite suddenly.

Second on the album is the song “Laidback,” which does in fact live up to its name: it sounds as though it had been composed by, or else for, someone stretched out alone on a tiny raft resting motionless in the middle of a small lake, gazing up at the sky at some hour of the afternoon or early evening, and thus it embodies the halcyon feeling of high summer, however briefly it may happen to endure, at this or that latitude.

Ending even more abruptly than the first track did, and actually more noteworthy for its music than for the lyrics, is “Castles”: in fact the meaning of the lines, while evidently dark, is actually rather opaque, but by way of compensation for this obscurity, the arrangements are the most urban, the most quickly-⁠paced, of all the songs on this album – this is not so much a Long Island as it is a New York City tune. (For, after all, even at the height of the summer, the locals do return to, or venture into, the city now and again.)