We’ve (re)rebranded our Artist of the Month series to CoSign, but it remains an accolade given to an up-and-coming artist or group who is poised for the big time. For February 2023, we’re highlighting the singer-songwriter mazie and her kaleidoscopic new album, blotter baby.
In celebration of her CoSign honor, we’ve collaborated with mazie on an exclusive water bottle design based on the blotter baby album artwork. With proceeds supporting two of mazie’s favorite organizations, Feed the Streets LA and Water Drop LA, you can grab yours at the Consequence Shop.
It’s time to get a little bit psychedelic.
With everyone from Lorde to Lil Yachty embracing the tie-dyed swirl of psychedelic rock — not to mention the illuminating qualities of hallucinogenic drugs, now more popular with the general public than they even were in the 1960s — we’re getting an influx of artists moving further into the deep end of kaleidoscopic wonder.
Think of it this way: If you’re an artist today creating at a high enough level, there are thousands upon thousands of opportunities to get weird. You can record a vocal melody, then pitch that melody three octaves up, then break it into five different pieces and spread them out throughout the song. Or, you can take that vocal melody and smother it in reverb, making it sound humongous, but also like it’s happening in another room at the end of a very long hallway. You can play your guitar like a keyboard and your bass guitar like a drum set. Essentially, we should be in a golden age of psychedelic music, because every tool for making impressionistic, cosmic songs are at our disposal.
This was a driving force for mazie’s new album, blotter baby. After her first major statement arrived in 2021 with her debut EP the rainbow cassette, mazie was at a transition point. For her, the rainbow cassette was intended to be “an ode to an ending of my childhood” — so, it was time to start looking ahead at what adulthood might sound like. blotter baby is an appropriate expansion of mazie’s musical identity, and finds her taking even more risks than before.
Though psychedelics were a big influence on the aptly-titled blotter baby, mazie’s journey took place under a larger lens. After leaving her native Baltimore for Los Angeles and releasing the rainbow cassette, she began work on her debut album immediately. “It’s been a really dedicated effort to find what that next step was going to be for me,” she tells Consequence, explaining that when she and close collaborator Elie Rizk returned to the studio, she was forced to take inventory of her strengths and spawn a reset.
The material in blotter baby, then, is dazzling. The lo-fi bedroom pop of the rainbow cassette has been turned inside out, with mazie embracing the expansive sounds of alternative rock, heavily layered dream pop, and even some candy-coated hyperpop. Not only is mazie inspired by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Beatles’ foray into psychedelia, she references more modern touchstones, too. “I feel like we’re also riffing on MGMT at times, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard I would like to say — though I don’t know if we ever really pulled a ‘King Gizzard!'”
There are windswept moments of clarity, like on the stunning, Mazzy Star-esque “somebody to lose,” situated between rock meltdowns, like the second half of “i look good,” where a cheering crowd accompanies mazie as she bites into a satisfying guitar solo. Meanwhile, songs like “are you feeling it now” bring disco to the fore, with a bubbling octave bass line and a top line that could fit in with any modern Top 40 pop song. “are you feeling it now” is certainly an album highlight, and it’s one she worked on with fellow LA singer-songwriter Chloe George. “I feel like mazie — I — can do anything. I feel like it’ll translate regardless of what type of song it is,” she says of “are you feeling it now.” “So we were just sort of like, ‘why not?'”