FFO: MXYM – PAGEANT | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Purveyor of sexy, synthed-up art-rock, MXYM returns with his latest single, Pageant (out Friday 26th February), a pop banger with a fresh contemporary feel that grounds itself with lyrics that discuss vulnerability, judgement and shaping an identity to fit into the boxes assigned to us by society. The track is accompanied by the B-side, Runner Up, a stripped back, heartfelt, show tune-esque ballad that contrasts and complements the main offering. 

Ahead of its release, we asked MXYM to describe the A and B-side using three songs…

Allie X – Little Things
Allie X has been such a huge inspiration to me as a songwriter since I started out making my own music, and the moment I heard Little Things I was overwhelmed by how true to my life it rang. The track really felt like it was singing to me specifically and I strive to be able to reach that level of writing; such personal lyrics that can reach someone else and hit them like I was writing for their own emotions. My new song Pageant essentially is a breakdown, it’s the total rampage once you’ve had enough failure. Little Things is almost like a prologue, all these smaller things hitting you one by one, as Allie sings “death by a thousand cuts”. Little Things is one of my absolute favourite songs to sing (scream) while I’m driving because it’s just a catharsis and that’s definitely an element I tried to entwine into pageant, the big grande moment of “ALL MY EFFORTS OF ANNIHILATION OF THE COMPLETION” is definitely MXYM’s catharsis of all those little things.

Queen – Gimme The Prize
Pageant is a double edge sword, where Little Things is about being totally defeated, that defeat comes with an overwhelming sense of self and unstoppable self assurance. When thinking about Pageant naturally my brain went to Gimme the Prize by Queen, Mercury belting out “I am the one, the only one, I am the god of kingdom come, just gimme the prize” is like the father of Pageant’s “Now I’m a religion that you won’t believe, a gospel to conquer, to thrive and achieve”. Gimme The Prize is heavy, over the top, and even includes a bagpipe solo, an overall outlandishness that MXYM definitely thrives in. The guitars are screaming like a battle cry and the drums feel like they’re punching you in the gut, both of which are elements that I try to infuse in all of my music, not just Pageant. Gimme The Prize is actively going to kill you to take the crown, and Pageant is 100% do the same. IT’S BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN FADE AWAY. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

Liza Minelli  – Maybe This Time
When I was almost finished with Pageant I just knew I needed to have a B-Side called Runner Up, even though I had no idea what it’d sound like or even be about. After I’d written the song, it dawned on me that I’d almost written a mirror vision of Maybe This Time from Cabaret. While both songs are very much written in a vaudevillian style, Maybe This Time builds and keeps going up. It rises in the scales and creates this feeling of hope and excitement of where things could go, however Runner Up starts to rise and then drops you down and turns things minor. The peak of Maybe This Time is the big finale with Liza belting out as the main melody keeps rising up again, which is a big contrast to Runner Up’s peak, as it aggressively descends the scale singing about how tiring it is to always give up first place. Where Maybe This Time says “maybe this time he’ll stay” Runner Up responds “maybe this time I’ll leave”. I adore Cabaret and Liza, but I do enjoy this bizarro spin on a classic, even if it was completely unintentional. 


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