When first diving into Paul Adam Mayer’s music I went first to his YouTube channel. Upon investigating, I noticed that all his videos were filmed in a very plain room with a looper, a piano and a microphone. A few clicks later I found myself on his first upload titled I Just Wanna Give It Back, which was an improvised loop he uploaded in December of 2018. As soon as I started listening to it, I was instantly transported back to summer. Something about the keyboard line at the beginning with the addition of the beat and organ line reminded me of sitting in a hazy, humid summer room with my closest friends. Or driving west toward the sun as it’s setting with the windows rolled down and the volume cranked all the way. Mayer’s melodic lines create the sense of nostalgia for simpler, care-free times.
If you listen closely to the lyrics of Mayer’s songs, you will find bits of comedy sprinkled into them. For example, the opening line of I Just Wanna Give It Back is “Broken hearted, forget I farted, forget I started…” On another improvised track of his, also a video on his YouTube uploaded in January, titled Titanic he sings about the Titanic and mentions that “Wonderwall is a crappy song”.
Moving to his Soundcloud, I found my personal favorite track which is titled Get By. This track maintains a single repeating vibraphone line underneath all the other layers of guitar, strings, drums and harp. The lyrics for this song talk about being alone, and the feeling of uncertainty that is sometimes brought with it. It also feels like Mayer is trying to convey how sometimes the pressure that is provided from external sources makes you feel like you need to ignore it and just accept the fact that it will linger because we “all have an expiration date”. Even though Mayer still searches for the “peace and tranquility” that will relieve that feeling of not knowing.
Mayer’s music, as he describes on his Facebook page, is “a musician doing genre-bending”. Though it’s challenging to put Mayer’s music into a single musical box, he taps into elements of funk and gospel, while also using styles from R&B. If you listen to the homebrew music that Mayer formulates, there is no doubt that you will be able to find sprinkles from many different genres mixed into the final product.