Album of the Week: Cassandra Maze
To get some idea of the sort of artist that she is, check out Cassandra Maze’s YouTube channel. There you’ll find videos like the one for the live version of her song “Die Wondering”, which shows the Coquitlam-based singer standing on the rocky banks of a creek, belting the lyrics accompanied by only her own acoustic-guitar strumming.
You will also find a bunch of videos of Maze performing cover versions of pop songs (including Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and Camila Cabello’s “Havana”) in what might be her living room, armed with a Nord Lead 2 synthesizer, drum pads, and an array of looping pedals.
Maze is clearly very versatile, not to mention prodigiously talented. She could probably make an entire album of unplugged tunes, but her new four-track EP, Asymmetry, is far from that. Instead, it’s a collection of fully realized and impeccably produced modern electronic-pop tracks. These songs are slick enough to hold their own on playlists that also include selections from heavy-hitters like Charli XCX and Rita Ora. Yes, they sound that polished, but it’s not all about the production. Maze has a powerful, confident voice and her lyrics make it clear that—whether she’s singing about self-empowerment (“I Don’t Need Your Love”) or the various ways humans are fucking up the environment (“Wasteland”)—she has something to say.