A throwback review: Composure by MAALA

Think of yourself being lifted, into the clouds, and then softly brought back down again.

Back and forth, back and forth.

A rocking chair of air and beauty.

The world around you continues its rapid transgressions, while you are transported into a world so far north, it’s off the human planet.

In this moment — you are life.

You are composure.

Ever heard of Evan Sinton? Well, it’s he who holds this grip over you — who manifests an indescribable feeling of power within you. Who makes you react.

Ever heard of MAALA? Yeah, it’s the same guy.

2012. A boy called Evan appears on TV show New Zealand’s Got Talent. During his time in the competition its obvious that he is something different. Ultimately, the voice of Evan possesses such a unique sound that he clearly stands out from the rest — he has talent.

But after the show, he struggles — fights even — against the societal pressures to conform.

Go to university, get a degree, a job.

He tries, and fails, again and again, to follow these set pathways.

And then he makes a move that would change his career path forever.

2015. A man simply known as MAALA releases an EP to an encouraging response from critics and after shows in London, New York, LA, Sydney, has the opportunity to play an opening slot on Flume’s NZ tour. Where has he come from?

When Evan Sinton developed his musical persona to MAALA, and changed tact so he could reach an ever increasing audience in the field of electro-pop, everything became a blur. The career he had always dreamed of — simply took off.

Released on the 29th of July 2016, Composure is his second album and most certainly lives up to the billing.

And for good reason.

Firstly, if you haven’t heard of his lead single ‘Kind of Love’ then something must be wrong. Rocking practically every New Zealand radio station in the last month, this song is one which has really exploded with popularity. Its soulful tune, intermingled with amazing electro drops, make it one for the ages. In fact, it even features a writing collaboration with US songwriter MoZella, who can lay claim to tracks performed by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Ellie Goulding and One Direction.

Another stand out is ‘Hush’, which encapsulates all of the qualities that have set MAALA on the victory trek. Varying beats and effects play across his delightfully wholesome voice, with every word feeling like it is addressed directly to you. Leroy Clampitt can also be accredited to this one, with his portfolio including collaborating with Justin Bieber on the hit track ‘Company’.

MAALA certainly doesn’t mess about when he wants advice.

And although these two have been singled out due to their high profile connections, others such as ‘Soak’, ‘Composure’ and ‘Forget about You’ are also absolute fantastic sets.

‘Let me know’ too thrills with every word, facilitating a true excitement to go out into the world and do something. Such is the power of this man, who, in this album, allows the listener to walk around his own shoes for the duration of 10 heart warming pieces.

It can easily be forgotten that it is a man whose roots lie in our very own Aotearoa.

East Auckland in fact.

Without a doubt, one of my favourite albums of the year so far — MAALA’s Composure is a stunning collection of music, conjured from the heart, and presented in the most convincing manner possible. It’s amazing, brilliant, and if that wasn’t good enough — the back story is one made for the big screen.

A man who rose to temporary fame in the spotlight of a nation, before crashing down, and now having worked his way back towards a Sony contract — one can only have the utmost respect for this character.

This pure individual.

This personality.

This man they call;