Listen now on Spotify | Don Maple (Facebook)

Read on for the full interview followed by my thoughts on ‘SORRY’.

Don Maple released SORRY on 16/08/19 – his first full album, self produced and released independently through his label YEAR SPACESHIP. We’d been intently following the singles and videos that were flowing on Facebook leading up to the album release and like the rest of his followers I was waiting eagerly to hear more. I asked him a couple of questions online and he very kindly and earnestly replied.

What’s your favourite part of the album to listen back to?
“I spent over a year writing, recording and mixing ‘SORRY” and if I’m being honest… I find it difficult to listen back to.”

What were you trying to achieve with the album process?
“During the time creating the record I unfortunately lost four people very close to my heart within about a six month window which was detrimental to my mental health. The Circumstances that surrounded this half-year made things extremely difficult for a multitude of reasons that I don’t intend to discuss publicly but the one thing that I feel is important to disclose is that I was truly and utterly depressed during the writing process.”

Is there anything in particular you’d like the listener to take away from the experience?
“Sorry, for me, is a complete depiction of the lowest point in my life. [It is hard for me to listen back to some of these songs and hear my darkest thoughts on tape, but] I think it is of great importance that other people out there that are currently suffering with depression know that they are not alone – talking about how they feel with someone they trust is the best way to overcome it and keep moving forward.”

“I exposed a lot of demons on this record… things that had been plaguing my thoughts for years. I feel that when you are at your lowest and most vulnerable your mind has a tendency to resurface almost every bad feeling you’ve ever had… things that you had suppressed for one reason or another. SORRY is a culmination of all those horrible memories that came back to haunt me earlier this year which i am choosing to deal with now by putting them into words and letting the world see the proverbial scars. If you are reading this and feel like you need someone to talk to, I would be more than happy to listen – DM me on Facebook or Twitter for a chat if you need it.” – Don

ZOOL’s notes:
‘SORRY’ will go down well with anyone who – like me – grew up on Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon albums, or those who discovered Mac Demarco right as he blessed us with Salad Days. Due to its length and emotional depths the album itself becomes hard to ‘leave on repeat’  – although there’s a good few tracks off ‘SORRY’ that keep me coming back for more.

The album kicks off with an intro track ‘Midland Station’ leading into ‘Obedient’ –  cool 80s vibes from the layers of vocals and synths. Maybe it’s because I’m a guitarist but the playing on this track in particular really does something for me. The software drums are the most fun part though, keeping the whole thing pumping at full pace at an almost awkwardly loud volume in the mix.

On the track ‘Bluebird’, Don drops a pretty sick rap verse before one of his catchiest hooks on the album – ‘I didn’t know it at the time, but you were always on my mind’.   Be sure to check out the guitar harmony bit at the end of this track, I love it.

‘Sweet and Sour’ sounds like an apology to a lover for a list of perceived downfalls – offering to just order a Chinese and spend some quality time instead of all this introspection – any local musicians listening can definitely relate to the Maple man’s struggle here. Really enjoyed the huge, out-of-nowhere outro riff and warpy/slacker production on this one.

Hey Man‘ really reminded me of This Old Dog era Mac Demarco – featuring country-inspired chorus harmonies soaked in sunshine. One of a few (very welcome) rays of positivity and easy-going attitude on an album that can at times be emotionally exhausting. How bout that guitar solo, eh?

The final four tracks contain some of the more depressing moments on the album. That being said I personally love the pop-punk chorus at the end of ‘Keep on Waiting‘, harks back to the sound of Stu’s last band, Hit The B Button.

Magnets’ & ‘Never Loved You Better’ are my favourite tracks, the former feels like a summer hit while the latter features my favourite lyric off the album – ‘there are guys who wear sunglasses, so they can look at asses and not get caught’ – Get out of my head Don.

Listen now on Spotify | Don Maple (Facebook)