“I had just anxiety-binge-watched 10 seasons of ‘Friends’ for the first time, and I wanted to write something that felt like the theme song for the show,” Maddie Jay told American Songwriter.
That ‘something’ is Jay’s new single, “Shakes,” which dropped on April 29. Coming ahead of her yet-to-be-released debut EP, the single is a poppy indie bop that shows off Jay’s musical expertise.
Raised in northern Canada, Jay began her musical journey as a bass player. She came to the United States to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and after graduating she moved to Los Angeles to land work as a session player. However, after she got into a groove of producing music in her bedroom — and built a presence on Instagram via posting snippets of her work — she began focusing on her own songcraft.
Which all makes sense when listening to “Shakes.” Her origins as a bass player shine on the tune’s tight, driving rhythm section. Her tasteful bass playing is intricate and adds a tremendous amount of energy, yet manages to do so without taking up too much space. It’s subtle but serves as the magic dust on the track. Tonality wise, the song feels like a marriage between early-2000s pop-rock and Tame Impala.
“As for the title — I have an essential tremor (just shaky hands for no reason) that makes me feel very unsteady and unhinged sometimes,” Jay said. “It gets worse when I am anxious, and it also makes me anxious when it gets worse. Lyrically, I really tried to capture the cyclical, unproductive thinking that happens when you fall into one of these patterns.”
“Honestly, I kinda hope people can just headbang to this in their houses right now and feel good,” she concluded.
Listen to Maddie Jay’s new single “Shakes” below: