Northern Exposure: Maylee Todd, 'A Lullaby For My Fictitious Children Lucious & Sumat' -- Free MP3
How to describe the uncategorizable wunderkind that is Maylee Todd? Singer and songwriter, sure -- but also former member of the late indie-rock squad Henri and the Adorables, ad-jingle provider (that's her crooning 'For What It's Worth' in the Telus commercial), comedienne, aerobics instructor, player of the Paraguayan harp... And that's just for starters.
So it's fitting that her bright, breezy new debut album is titled 'Choose Your Own Adventure' -- clocking in at under 30 minutes, it's more of a taste of the Toronto musician's prodigious talents rather than the entire experience, but what an introduction it is. Keeping the focus on Todd's honeyed, feather-light coo of a voice, the record nimbly flits between styles (bossa nova, funk, folk, pop) without ever sounding disjointed or forced.
It's just the soundtrack for sun-dappled bike rides or picnics in the park, all infused with a jazzy bent in keeping with her label Do Right's focus.
Like labelmates Elizabeth Shepherd or Jessica Stuart, Todd also goes for a timeless, not trendy sound, though with far more eclecticism than most female vocalists operating within a classic idiom. The girl's got soul -- both in the musical and personality sense -- and that verve is writ large all over 'Adventure'. Interestingly, however, it's the quieter moments that really resonate, such as slow-burn stunner 'A Lullaby For My Fictitious Children Lucious & Sumat,' a gentle gem that tips its hat to Billie Holiday's 'Gloomy Sunday' with its spare but emotive vocal take.
While Todd can really belt it out when she wants to, what's impressive is that she doesn't even need to -- though her voice rarely rises above a soft croon on 'Lullabye' (perhaps