After an extensive hiatus, New Orleans-based Mahayla have returned with a new record. Formed by frontman Dave Fera and drummer Mark Davis in 1999, the band was put on the back burner so Fera could focus on other projects throughout the 2000s. When those began to fall to the wayside, Mahayla began to creep back into the limelight, and the result is Electricspaceagesweetheart.
The disc brings back the simple indie rock vibe of the ’90s and has an overall sentimental feel to it, not just musically, but with lyrical content as well, with songs such as “Good Old Days” focusing around fond memories of past times and carefree youth. Tracks fluctuate between mellow and melancholy, such as “Sitting At The Table” and “Silence Equals Power,” and bizarre, manic tunes like “Caroline,” which consists of screaming vocals and unstable guitar patterns.
Mahayla occasionally incorporate bits of electronica throughout their music, which either enhances their sound or throws it off completely. This works in the favor of “Bestie,” opening with a cheery synth before bringing in the main melody of the song, which sees Fera sharing vocal duties with keyboardist Yanti Turang. However, their cover of Neil Young’s “If I Could Have Her Tonight” is interrupted by a space-age sound effect, and it comes off as out of place more than anything else. Though they try to tie it all together at the end with an airy, keyboard-driven instrumental jam, it fails to justify the disruption.
Though it could have done without some of the effects, Electricspaceagesweetheart is still satisfying. Mahayla keep the music fresh and often catchy, and that will have indie fans coming back for more.