Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the debut single from Calgary (Canada) based singer-songwriter, Maclayne. Out of the City was released on June 15th, 2023, and we’re here to tell you that this talented folk/pop artist is most definitely one to watch.

Out of the City is the story of feeling trapped in others’ expectations and craving the freedom to follow one’s heart. We love the line, “I’ve got this anxiety and these thoughts that won’t leave me, I wanna be free.” It’s a positive anthem for anyone wishing to escape the 9-5.

Out of the City is quirky, positive and fun, with dry and unaffected vocals, slightly reminiscent of a cross between Joni Mitchell and Dolores O’Riordan. Maclayne’s voice is airy, breathy and characterful with some absolutely jaw-dropping head voice moments. It feels like this is a voice that will be instantly recognisable in the Canadian folk scene once she has a little more experience and a catalogue behind her.

The song starts with some guitar and drums, and the instrumentation remains relatively simple throughout, with single bass notes and a simple drum beat that comes and goes to accent various moments in the track. We love the quirky use of stops and the occasional hand claps. This really is an exciting debut.

We love the false ending that leads into a longer section with strings and repeated lines and chorus sections which draws to a close with strummed guitar, repeated vocal lines and some lovely incidental piano.

At 4 minutes 36 it is possible that this track would be looked over by commercial radio stations – they can be so picky about lengths, but we’d strongly suggest Maclayne contacts local radio, college stations and particularly CKUA for possible airplay – this track is right up their street!

Ideas from our ears

A small boost around 200-250Hz would add some extra warmth and a couple of small cuts in the 500Hz to 1kHz range would reduce some occasional ‘honky’ and ‘nasal’ tones. Lastly, a boost centred around 7kHz could enhance the presence and ‘life’ in the track. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Maclayne’s debut single, Out of the City, is an incredibly promising, endearing and positive singer-songwriter track from an artist who has shot to the top of our “ones to watch” list. Highly recommended.