Elaine Mai: Home review – A far cry from artist’s indie beginnings

Fri, Oct 8, 2021, 05:00



Elaine Mai



It’s taken a minute but the debut album of electro artist Elaine Mai is finally here. Taking on the mammoth task of portraying emotional honesty as a form of strength in late-night anthems, the Dublin-based Mayo producer calls in a host of familiar collaborators to intensify the sentiment.

Loah extends a comforting hand on Waiting to Breathe, the subdued piano-led track that celebrates intimacy, Ailbhe Reddy measures the impact of human connection on Still Here and Sinéad White craves more on Go Slow. Fuelling the provocation on No Forever, MayKay’s dusky tones reach an emotional climax as Mai creates a pulsating wall of sound that takes the listener to a far off place. The artistic chemistry between Mai and MayKay burns brighter on the urgent 3am, capturing the dissociation and closeness that that hour can bring. A far cry from her indie beginnings, Mai’s musical growth is laid out in Portnoo, an instrumental and stargazing ode to one of Donegal’s gems.

Making her return to the live scene at the Mother Summer Block Party this September, the throbbing bass line from the track Mother is a dedication to the LGBTQ+, electro-loving community that inhabits the club’s dance floor every Saturday. With sparkling synths and a liberating sense of release, she embraces the ideology that in order to find yourself, sometimes you have to lose yourself in others first.