Cleveland, a Car Crash, the Virgin Mary and Joy Harjo. - Max García Conover: sad, babe
posted 07 May 2021 by Krister Axel
A raw and vulnerable musical vérité that surprises us with a personal truth that, until now, was hidden from view.

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We've covered Max before—here and here. He is one of my favorite contemporary lyricists, and I look forward to hearing every new track of his that comes my way. Max has a way of enveloping pure pathos in the language of workaday circumstance, so that every song is a mood that moves from deep self-inspection to a celebration of the moment, whatever complex emotions it may contain. As a lover of existential literature and the language of human anguish, I wonder sometimes—if Albert Camus came back as a Puerto Rican songsmith—whether he might choose to inhabit the flesh of Max García Conover.

"sad, babe" is a story-driven vibe with minimal accompaniment, incorporating Cleveland, a car crash, the Virgin Mary, a Puerto Rican nationalist, and a poem by Joy Harjo into a juxtaposition of sadness and beauty that is nothing short of breathtaking. In this layered and serpentine narrative I hear echoes of Josh Ritter, John Moreland, and Jeffrey Martin, just to name a few. Somehow the art of Max García Conover incorporates what I see as the essence of acoustic folk and roots: a raw and vulnerable musical vérité that surprises us with a personal truth that, until now, was hidden from view.

out here i thought we’d arrive in a city of stars
then i saw the universe sitting alone at a bar
and i saw her leaving when we were sixteen
and i knew what she wanted and it wasn’t me
then the lights took the mirrors and bam it got clearer
i was sadder than sad babe but not in a bad way

Max releases music both independently and through the Barcelona-based label Son Canciones.

Visit Max García Conover on the web and buy his music from bandcamp.

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About the Author


Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.

Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist