Tell Me

Tell Me

Featuring songwriting more mature than one would expect from a 21-year-old, Mayfield sounds at once self-assured and wounded in these songs. Singing in a ghostly deadpan, she reflects on heartbreak and confusion through sly, introspective lyrics that are sometimes at odds with the music itself. Even seemingly bright moments expose gloom just below the surface, as on “Blue Skies Again,” with its upbeat melody that is in contrast to the resignation of the lyrics, and the bubbly keyboard hook of “Grown Man” that actually accentuates the creepiness of the story she tells. Several tracks, such as “I’ll Be the One You Want Someday,” “Trouble,” and “Sometimes At Night,” have a country noir feel well suited to her delivery and the melancholy subject matter. The album was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, whose tremolo-drenched guitar, drum machine loops, and other adventurous studio touches add to the album’s haunting mood and genre-hopping charm. Tell Me is an intriguing and often hypnotic statement from an ambitious artist who is wise and world-weary beyond her years.

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