Rejoice, dear lads, because Joey Maxwell is back with his inimitable sprechgesang to lay bare the anxieties of growing old and the bliss of letting go on the new track ‘Too Much’.
Anyone familiar with Maxwell’s cannon, especially the great 2020 EP Natureland, knows that life-affirming pop is well within the artist’s wheelhouse, whether it’s the self-preservation anthem ‘don’t stress’ or the “I’m a burn out screw up but that’s ok” message in ‘going through changes’. Now, we get another meditation on one person’s place in the grand scheme of life, candy-coated in delightfully loquacious indie-pop, featuring buzzy synths and blip-bloop drum machines.
“‘Too Much’ explores the cyclical nature of life and death and everything that comes in between,” Maxwell says. “For me, it plays on the idea that the most inane things are all part of a bigger picture – we’re tiny specks of dust in this universe, one minuscule part of something massive. I think part of that is realised as the song unravels. This world doesn’t owe me anything and it certainly doesn’t revolve around me. I can’t really think of a better example, but humans are like Venn diagrams, and the stuff you do solely in your part of the circle has a knock-on effect with the circles that you overlap with.”
Or, as the chorus states: “When it’s all getting too much/Just remember that you’re loved/And when it’s all getting too tough/You’ve got sisters that you love/They need a big brother.”
There’s no reason why goofy pop music can’t have a mature message attached to it, and every time Maxwell seems on the verge of getting too preachy, he brings it down to earth by extolling the virtues of simple desires: beans and toast, getting high, buying a car for the aunt who never judged you. There’s a great mix of ephemeral joy and wholesome sincerity that raises ‘Too Much’ above its casual catchiness, and that’s what’s going to keep people coming back to it.
A confession: originally this song was rated in the high 7’s, but I’m seriously a sucker for a good sax solo, and the one at the end of this tune elevates it to a solid 8.2.
Check out the video for ‘too much’ down, below.