Rustic indie folk musician Mae Krell explores themes of self-improvement and self-reflection in their new optimistic yet honest tune, “wash”. With actual sounds of water splashing and streaming softly in the background, this song truly makes you feel as though you’re washing your past self away to reveal a cleaner, smarter, better you.
Consisting of “empty arena” reverb, honeyed vocals, and a vintage-style slide guitar over a warm-toned acoustic, it’s a beautiful rustic song reminiscent of indie folk favorites such as Gregory Alan Isakov, Courtney Hartman, and The Paper Kites. Though sonically gentle and tame, make no mistake, this is not a song to romanticize the outcome of self-reflection and improvement. In fact, its lyrical content is set on demonstrating the honest realities of coming to terms with past mistakes and the need to move forward, even if painful.
The first few lyrics paint a bleak picture of drowning with no way to stop the constant stream of water. By the chorus, the tides have turned, and Krell looks at things through a new lens; rather than drowning, they are instead washing themselves of the past, or “cleaning up the mess” they have made, saying “someone once told me it all comes out in the wash if you let it.” Though it’s not necessarily a love song for the self, it’s an ode to trying your hardest to be better, an inherent act of self-love. Its charm comes from the fact that there’s no real conclusion in the lyrics, implying that this is a constant project for Krell-- they never stop learning, trying, and trying again. In turn, anyone can listen to this song at any difficult stage of life and it still applies just as honestly as the last time, proving there’s no shame in being a work-in-progress.
Mae Krell is a 20-year-old New Yorker using songwriting as a way to reach the most vulnerable parts of themselves and share it with the world. While they search for themselves and navigate the world around them, their music shows that it’s okay to not yet be entirely put together-- a message that has deeply resonated with nearly 54,000 monthly Spotify listeners. They’ve been receiving critical acclaim since the beginning of their musical endeavors, including being hailed the “sound of the future” by AudioFuzz, and Unheard Gems whole-heartedly agrees.
Written by Jess Ward