Artist Spotlight: Mac Ayres – New soul winner of Episode 31 of the New Music Friday Contest!

I’ve been waiting to write this since the week Mac Ayres won his contest. Some of you may have caught my interview with him a few weeks ago. Check that out if you want to know more about his back story, but here let’s focus on the songs. His hit single that won him our contest and is making him go viral is the first place to start.

Mac Ayres – “Easy”
-Whether you’ve been a soul fan since the 60s or this is a fresh take for you, there’s an undeniable feeling in this music. The song’s message is deep and powerful the way that you connect with someone, having all the dreams about how wonderful things are going to be. But then reality kicks in and it’s not all you dreamed it would be. But the soul… man it just drips here. The instrumentation is a combination of some drum beats and some samples, laying down a smooth and easy backing for Ayres’s next-level vocal. Technically there might be people who sing “better” or put together more expensive beats, but you’ll never hear a track with more soul. Promise.

Mac Ayres – “Circles”
-For a similar sound, Ayres track “Circles” soars as well. Feel like something from Stevie Wonder, this track rises above some of the other dynamics he puts together. There’s a real blues sentiment to the lyrics. He’s lost in himself and his feelings. The way the vocal effects alter the sound makes it feel like a Jamiroqui pop soul flavor from a generation ago. That’s one of the great things about this sound; it’s timeless. The notion of circles seems to pervade the influences here, too, showing that the sounds come back around.

Mac Ayres – “Wrong”
-One of Mac’s older songs (old… you know… 9 months old) is “Wrong.” The way the backing chords progress shows evidence of somebody who’s been playing in this genre for a long time. He reminds me of Allen Stone more on this one, which is a huge compliment. In fact, I’d love to hear a jam session with those two. But I digress. The lyric “baby don’t walk this way… or we’ll have to say I was wrong.” Oh wow. Been there! It’s that moment of realization that a relationship didn’t work or that you were in the wrong and you just can’t bear to be around that person. What an incredibly deep concept, though, for a relatively new artist. The future on this one is strong.

Mac Ayres – “Blue Skies”
-Mac has about a dozen tracks on Soundcloud, but this is the fourth of the tracks I want to highlight here. These are my picks because they all seem to have that “next level” factor to them. Although they are similar in the soulful vocal-heavy style, I don’t feel like they feel repetitive at all. The intimacy on this track “Blue Skies” is really outstanding. It’s about that intense feeling of falling in love (I think?) where you feel like you’re going to be with someone forever. “Feels like forever’s got a hold on me.” The intensity of the emotion, though, is about more than romance, but about reality. In one sense, I can really see Ayres being a voice of a generation when it comes to this stuff. He’s more authentic than 99% of the artists on the top 40 and we gotta push him up there.

Like these tracks. Follow Mac on Soundcloud and his socials. Share them with everyone. And that ex he’s got you thinking about… share Mac with him or her, too. 😉

Photo credit: Screen cap from a GIF on @mmacayres IG account.

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