20 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

We may be approaching a dystopian future where all our pop stars double as YouTube personalities, but if mxmtoon is any indication, there’s hope for us yet. (For the record, it’s pronounced pretty much how you’d expect—“em ex em toon”—and comes from an old screen name, naturally.) The Oakland teenager, known IRL as Maia, became an accidental video celeb thanks to her ukulele covers and catchy original songs, played in her bedroom in secret from her parents. With the masquerade, her debut full-length, she proves herself as an impressively deft songwriter, with deceptively simple DIY pop tunes about teenage life—prom, heartache, seasonal depression—delivered with a healthy amount of self-interrogation. (“Denial is my greatest skill,” she lilts on the new-age doo-wop ditty “blame game.”) There’s an acoustic counterpart to all 10 songs, for those looking to up the ukulele factor.

EDITORS’ NOTES

We may be approaching a dystopian future where all our pop stars double as YouTube personalities, but if mxmtoon is any indication, there’s hope for us yet. (For the record, it’s pronounced pretty much how you’d expect—“em ex em toon”—and comes from an old screen name, naturally.) The Oakland teenager, known IRL as Maia, became an accidental video celeb thanks to her ukulele covers and catchy original songs, played in her bedroom in secret from her parents. With the masquerade, her debut full-length, she proves herself as an impressively deft songwriter, with deceptively simple DIY pop tunes about teenage life—prom, heartache, seasonal depression—delivered with a healthy amount of self-interrogation. (“Denial is my greatest skill,” she lilts on the new-age doo-wop ditty “blame game.”) There’s an acoustic counterpart to all 10 songs, for those looking to up the ukulele factor.

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