Think of Maxwell Bailey’s smooth-as-silk falsetto vocals and gentle, loving guitar picking as a soothing balm against all the hate and sadness of today’s world. In “Melody,” a song from his soon-to-be-released In Between Live EP, he contemplates what can be done to fight against the endless waves of violence, hatred and intolerance. He finds his answer in his music, which he sees as an expression of his love that he tries to send out into the world.
“What type of melody can encapsulate the enmity, pity and pain we feel? How can a word be sung and spoken in love translate to medicate our wounds?”
I wrote this song in response to America’s issue with hate. After dozens of mass shootings, incidents of police brutality, terrorist attacks and the general negligence of the less fortunate that we’ve all seen in this country, it can be hard to feel like anything an individual can say or do will have any sort of lasting positive effect. I’m a songwriter, but what good is a song in the face such tragedies? After months of writer’s block at the time, I penned these lyrics in search for an answer to this question. Through the songwriting process, the answer I came up with was, of course, in the form of more questions: ‘When we wave our lights and sway, what does it fix today? Does it make us feel inside? Help us feel alive?’ Life is a complicated web of cyclical emotions. Some good. Some bad. Many indifferent. What I found out from writing this song is that there’s good and bad in all of us. Every perspective sheds unique light on situations. Perhaps, that’s something we all can rally around. Sometimes, at least for me, confusion is comforting. We don’t know the answers, but pushing love out into the world can’t hurt.
Bailey is a Boston-based artist who sees himself as more of a communicator than just a musician, with songwriting as an outlet and a way to connect with other people. His EP was filmed live at an AirBnB in Roxbury. It’s folky, jazzy and soulful, with articulate lyrics, in search of some answers for life’s most difficult problems. Above all, how do we stay in a place of serenity, with chaos all around us, so that we can radiate positive feelings out into the world?
In addition to being a singer songwriter and guitarist, Bailey is also an MC and music promoter. He hosts weekly open mic nights every Sunday at 6B Lounge on Beacon Street in Boston, and the Noise Floor Sessions concert series at various Boston area venues. Focused on showcasing local musicians, Noise Floor Sessions has a six-month residency at Aeronaut Allston (and various pop-up Allston locations).
The In Between Live EP will be released on Spotify on June 15.