From Italy to Germany, composer, producer, and singer-songwriter May Rei shares her latest expansive and conceptual electronic tunes with her third studio album, It's All About Phases.
May Rei is best known for using synthesizers, effects, virtual instrumentals, and vocals to recreate musical worlds and share fragments of information about herself. She adores rhythm and deeply admires natural sounds merged with different styles and cultures like synth-pop, oriental traditions, downtempo, and club bangers.
Listeners can experience May Rei's vast sounds within her new 11-track album, It's All About Phases. To Rei, it's a collection of songs that create a series of snapshots of her life, all through memories of synth-pop and the pulsing rhythms of dance.
The album opens with the introductory track, "Feeling Your Love," kicking off with a groovy drum arrangement alongside a plucky bass-like synth that sets the warm and sensual mood. As May Rei's tender vocals appear alongside fluttery, pulsating synths, she softly expands on holding onto someone's love through thick and thin. It's a smooth-sailing, toe-tapping experience that starts the album with a chilling groove.
Moving onto track number two, "Gen X," May Rei opens the song with her soothing vocals alongside a unique synth-pop instrumental that's equally as expansive as it is mysterious. May Rei takes on a deeper lyrical theme in this piece, discussing the natural changes that involve the generations. The tranquil sonics merged with May Rei's gentle vocals are truly a treat for the ear.
Dancing our way into the third track, "Akku Leer," we're met with a sparkling synth melody that pushes us into an expansive electronic atmosphere. May Rei brings forward another conceptual lyrical theme while the dark and chilling sonics roam the background. She sings of keeping things under control when we feel like we're caught in a spiral from life's hectic ways. It's a sonic and lyrical daydream in one.
Spicing up the album is the fourth track, "A Kind of Magic," which opens with dizzying and buzzy synths that roam through the first verse alongside a plucky bass lick and May Rei's rhythmic vocals. The lively drum beats paired with the lush electronic arrangements, and groovy bass licks are incredibly refreshing. But perhaps what's more refreshing is May Rei's lyrics about the magical moments that enrich our daily lives.
Slowing things down is the fifth track, "Clouds in My Head," opening with a moody bass lick and expansive background pads alongside a downtempo drum beat. May Rei's breathy and emotional vocals bask in the comfort of nostalgia but realizes how those reflective moments are somewhat bittersweet. This song is the perfect track to lay back and reflect on those moments when we felt alive.
Reaching the album's halfway point with track number six, "Laura," we're greeted with smooth mid-tempo drums alongside soft guitar melodies and May Rei's emotional vocals. While singing about taking the empty roads and asking where to find the missing pieces to her puzzle, a buzzy bass line dances through our speakers to enhance the atmosphere tenfold. This emotion-rich song carries all the sweetness and realness we could ask for.
Pumping up the groove is track number seven, "Pandora," opening with heavy mid-tempo drums and thick basslines alongside dark and eerie synth melodies. May Rei's dreamy vocals in this song are mesmerizing, especially as she keeps us engaged with her honest lyrics about learning how to spread our wings and fly when life's opportunities arise. It's an incredibly soulful tune that keeps us in a deep state of reflection.
Ramping up the electronic vibe is track number eight, "Claustrophobia," floating through our speakers with distorted sci-fi synths that transition into a large bassline and tight drum breaks. As May Rei's angelic vocals begin floating down from above, the song slowly transitions into yet another ethereal electronic soundscape that soothes the mind, body, and soul. It feels like a cathartic and emotional outlet that's covered in different cultural flairs.
Moving onto the ninth track, "On Hold," May Rei's cosmic vocals float through our speakers alongside a melodic sitar sample and mid-tempo drums that keep the groove alive. This unique instrumental piece helps us get to know May Rei's production abilities much more, especially as she showcases different vocal approaches, sounds, effects, and instruments. It's another spacey and chilling tune that leaves us in a psychedelic trance.
Deepening the atmosphere is the album's tenth track, "Super-GAU," opening with airy, down-tempo drums with spacious and lush synths that keep us floating on cloud nine. Once again, May Rei blesses us with another chilling instrumental piece that's said to focus on the dramatic changes in our ecosystems and the world at large. It's a somber, mysterious, and emotional piece that's drenched in honest introspection.
Landing on the album's eleventh and final track, "Void," the tune kicks off with dancy and upbeat drums alongside similar spacious synths from the track prior. Only, this time around, we feel a sense of liberation, where we've finally reached the mountain peak, and it's all downhill from here. May Rei puts her vocals aside once again in this track, allowing us to bask in her engaging production abilities that close the album on a rich and cathartic note.
We invite you to take a break from your usual cycle and step outside of your routine with help from an expansive, stimulating. A refreshing album like May Rei's It's All About Phases is now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, May Rei. We admire the conceptual approach you've taken with your recent album, It's All About Phases. What inspired you to create an album about the different phases of your life? Hi, BuzzMusic! Thank you so much! I somehow had the need to translate my personal changes into music. Since the beginning, I have always tried to convey this message through my music, which is showing me as a human being in constant metamorphosis. This starts with the choice of my name, actually. There's a sense of evolution, of transformation, of change in my inner self and in my music. I evolve with time; I go through phases, and so does my music. This album is an extension of the first works, it's more mature and technically more elaborated. The phases here are spiritual, generational, and social. Music became a great opportunity for me to talk about the phases I have experienced so far in my life. It's all about phases that belong to my life, but that could also belong to anyone out there and to society itself.
When did you begin writing songs and executing ideas for the album, It's All About Phases? How long did it take to create the project? I started creating new beats shortly after the release of Epiphany, my debut LP album in 2020. After that, I released a 4-track EP in 2021, and I was involved in other projects. I can say that I have been working hard for 10 months to finish It's All About Phases. To be honest, I never stop making music. When I say I'm having a break, I lie. I just sit down and create as soon as I have time. It's a constant flow. Also, I work on different projects at the same time - my electro duo Hertzen, for example. I like to be involved in different tasks. It has pros and cons, but, at the moment, I see just the pros. It's time-consuming, but I enjoy the learning process while working. Do you have a favorite song from the album, It's All About Phases? Why is that song so important to you? It's hard to decide. Each track is a part of me. However, I would say that Gen X is something special to me. It talks about generations and their choices, my generation (the very last Gen-Xers), and my memories. There's lots of nostalgia in it. Also, the sounds I chose evoke those feelings in me at best. Did you work entirely solo when creating the production and instrumentals for It's All About Phases? What was that process like? May Rei is my solo project, totally DIY. I have my own label, and I take care of the whole production of my works. I normally start composing, gathering the sounds I like, and recreating a mood with melodies. I love composing. This is, for me, the most creative part of music production. The end is the hardest part. You are almost there, but you know that you still have lots of responsibilities. Making music is a long process. Sometimes, it can be endless. But, I also think that accomplishing your work and saying "yes, it's done" is part of the learning process. Making music is not only a way to recreate me, to re-discover myself. For me, as an independent artist, making music is also about making decisions and being self-confident. And It's All About Phases just marks a step forward. What did you hope listeners feel and take from the album, It's All About Phases? What experience did you want to offer? I definitely wanted to present a more rhythmic, melodic, and introspective work. So, if the listeners can relate themselves to my music and use it as a means to express their own feelings, then it means it worked. I mean, one can have his or her own interpretation of my songs, and that's okay. As soon as I put my music out, this one is not only mine anymore. Writing music is writing stories. I live my music in a very intimate and personal way. A kind of therapy. That's an opportunity for the listeners to know me better and to know themselves better, too. I want to let them in and show an imaginary world that we can share, a place between light and darkness.