SINGLE REVIEW: Lay Low by Ava Maybee

Lusty and alluding to clubbish energy that could turn the temperature up in just about any room it’s played in, the groove beneath the lyrics in the new single “Lay Low” from up and coming pop singer/songwriter Ava Maybee is certainly one of the main reasons to give the track a listen to this fall – but hardly the lone attribute I’d cite as a source of chills. For Ava Maybee, it isn’t enough to merely attack us with a clandestine beat in this song; she wants to utilize as much of the mix as she can to impart a warm, almost ethereal harmony as rich as it is piercing, and from where I sit, she does a fine job indeed. 


There’s so much more to this release than its percussive pulsations, and when looking a little closer at the strut of the bassline in the background, it’s hard to have a conversation about this artist and grooves of any sort without discussing her interest in squeaky-clean bass work. There’s almost a postmodernity to the low-end tonalities in this song, and while it comes in contrast with the lead vocal, it’s the sort of positive contrast that is becoming increasingly difficult to come by on the FM dial in 2020. 

The harmonies here are as sleek as any of the instrumental melodies are, and while they allude to a clubby overtone that I would expect to hear a lot more of from Ava Maybee, they never even come close to skirting a plasticized sound more common among electronic artists than anyone else in the pop spectrum. She’s clearly got a lot of vocal prowess, but rather than making that the focal point here, I like that she’s being stealthy in her performance and thus demonstrating a bit more versatility as a player. 

Though it’s inarguable that the bass is getting as much attention behind the board as the vocal is, there’s nothing muddy about its role in the grander scheme of things at all (nor the melodic wonderment it contributes to the song as a whole). In all actuality, every piece of instrumentation in this single is playing clean and with a gilded presence in the mix that made me feel like I was listening to an intimate live performance over studio-recorded material in my initial sit-down with “Lay Low,” and that’s something I haven’t been able to say about a lot of other new songs this month. 

If what I’m hearing in “Lay Low” is just a sneak preview of what Ava Maybee is going to be bringing to the table throughout her career in the future, then I sincerely doubt this will be the only time you see her name making headlines among the indie music press. She’s unreserved and resiliently going after a big climax in this cut that is no easy challenge for a young rookie like herself, but through what I can only imagine being a God-given swagger on stage, she’s breaking off some exciting vibes here indeed. 

Her video was directed by Bianca Nicdao and stars some of Ava’s dearest friends. Ava says of her track ” I wanted to put out a song about how important female friendships are and that it’s okay to go to a party and just hand out with your friends and not participate in hook-up culture.” Along with her dear friend Marley Sall the two came up with the concept for the video which also starts Edwin Honoret from the band PRETTYMUCH

Troy Johnston

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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