Singer-songwriter mxmtoon finds beauty in the mundane on debut the masquerade

Photo by Lauren Tepfer

A mainline artery to her heart, mxmtoon exists to give voice to all the things that 19-year-old Maia keeps hidden behind the facade of her day-to-day life. Offered in a spoken-word inflection that dips and curves itself around her eclectic production—one part acoustic-pop a-la Kina Grannis, mixed with sharp lyricism and avant-garde, off-kilter melodics akin to Fiona Apple or PJ Harvey—mxmtoon sways dreamily in a deeply relished and closely guarded intimacy.

mxmtoon’s debut, the ten-track the masquerade, is an ode in a way to the guarding of that intimacy; an exercise in unrestrained honesty—and boldly, plain-spoken songwriting—that seeks to voice those people and thoughts that go unheard. If there ever was a singer/songwriter that could take the mundane of daily life and strifes—transforming them from trite musings into enthused, personal tellings—it would be mxmtoon.

Songs like “seasonal depression” attach themselves to the kinds of every day strains people face every day, running through a laundry list of attempts by Maia to alleviate her mood: from tacos in Venice to tennis in the sunshine, and even so far as having her Lyft driver blast happy-go-lucky tunes. mxmtoon has the Midas touch for turning such seemingly dull moments into affectionate melodies that revel in just how relatable they can be.

Even for simple love songs like “unspoken words,” a song that meanders gleefully in a slow-burning, smooth-jazz-tinted medley before bursting in a crescendo of blissfully warm riffs. mxmtoon crafts the kind of delightful, easy-listening tunes that never lose their shine.


Mid-way through the masquerade the singer/songwriter offers a bit of a fourth-wall break in the form of “my ted talk”—a vividly honest confession over how she’s “writing love songs all about things [she’s] yet to go and try.” Sung like a spoken-word poem, the tune wraps itself around and emphatically underscores just how much mxmtoon’s gracious inflection and sublime songwriting unfolds itself in an almost theatrical sense.

“When I listen to the album, it feels like a musical of the things I’ve gone through and the life inside my head,” Maia explains. “I hope people come away from it feeling like the songs belong to them too—like now there’s a piece of art in the world that speaks to their own experiences, even if they’d always felt like they were alone.”

mxmtoon will be going on tour this fall with two sold-out shows at The Roxy Theater in Los Angeles on September 27-28. Her debut album the masquerade is out on September 13th, pre-order it here. Visit her website, Facebook, and Instagram to stay updated on future releases and tour announcements.

mxmtoon tour:

9/19 – Portland, OR – Holocene (SOLD OUT)

9/20 – Vancouver, BC – Rio

9/21 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile (SOLD OUT)

9/27 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy (SOLD OUT)

9/28 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy (SOLD OUT)

10/1 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar (SOLD OUT)

10/2 – San Diego, CA – Voodoo Room (SOLD OUT)

10/4 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room (SOLD OUT)

10/5 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room (SOLD OUT)

10/12 – Washington, DC – All Things Go Festival

10/19 – 10/20 – Las Vegas, NV – Metarama Gaming + Music Festival

10/22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court (SOLD OUT)

10/23 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge (SOLD OUT)

10/25 – St. Paul, MN – Amsterdam Hall (SOLD OUT)

10/26 – Chicago, Il – Lincoln Hall (SOLD OUT)

10/27 – Detroit, MI – Shelter (SOLD OUT)

10/31 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall

11/6 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground (SOLD OUT)

11/8 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair (SOLD OUT)

11/9 – Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry (SOLD OUT)

11/11 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (Purgatory) (SOLD OUT)

11/14 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall (SOLD OUT)

11/15 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre (SOLD OUT)

12/1 – Southampton, UK @ Engine Room* (SOLD OUT)

12/2 – Birmingham, UK @ Academy 2* (SOLD OUT)

12/3 – Norwich, UK @ Epic* (SOLD OUT)

12/5 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club* (SOLD OUT)

12/6 – Glasgow, UK @ The Garage* (SOLD OUT)

12/7 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Academy 2* (SOLD OUT)

12/8 – Dublin, Ireland @ Dublin Academy Green Room* (SOLD OUT)

12/10 – Bristol, UK @ The Fleece*(SOLD OUT)

12/11 – London, UK @ Camden Assembly

12/12 – London, UK @ Electric Ballroom* (SOLD OUT)

*Supporting Cavetown

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.