The track itself is couched in the same grass-roots, American folk and blues music that inspired artists such as Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley. The mantric repetition of its main chord progression creates an aura that is powerful in its scowling determination, ominous, and yet triumphant in its overall tone.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Daniel "Maf" Maffeo is a master of soul-singing with an audible razor-sharpness in his attitude that manifests as the song's core mood, into which the rest of MAFFEO grows and likewise emphasizes. The vocals of Maria Chaves contrast against this in the feminine quality of her voice, but her direct, almost confrontational delivery (like Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane without the frills) pairs extremely well with the quasi-violent undertone of Maf's own, making her voice more a pairing to his than merely a backup or background accompaniment. They are also joined by Taylor “The Kid” Morehouse on cello, the sonorous quality of which carries “Shine”'s melody better than any traditional bass guitarist could accomplish. This combination rests on a gorgeous bed of warmly natural conga drumming and tambourine that gives MAFFEO an inimitable sound all their own.
The likeness of MAFFEO's sonic character to that of Layne Staley is in particular very appropriate, as MAFFEO lists Alice in Chains as one of their main influences. MAFFEO's sound is most like AIC's in the songwriting, much of which Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell themselves borrowed in kind from old blues musicians such as Lead Belly and Robert Johnson. To consider MAFFEO's sound in “Shine” derivative of AIC would therefore be a fatal mistake in music appreciation, except insofar as blues is itself cyclical and thereby self-derived in nature. The end result is that MAFFEO, like Staley and Cobain before them, are a gorgeous and formidable addition to the line of great artists in the shadowy-sounding tradition of American folk music, and the music fan of the modern day is much, much better off now that they've arrived.
“Shine” by MAFFEO is available online worldwide as of January 17, 2013.
Staff Press Release Writer
The single “Shine” is distributed globally by MondoTunes (www.MondoTunes.com) and is available at iTunes for convenient purchase and download
MondoTunes (www.mondotunes.com) supplies the largest music distribution in the world and provides upstream services for many major labels in search of breakout artists. While most independent distributors reach only 45-50 retailers despite charging needless monthly and yearly fees, MondoTunes reaches over 750 retailers and mobile partners in over 100 world regions without any monthly or yearly fees.
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