Impressive Debut from Oakland Songwriter. - Mikayla McVey feat. Twain: On Naming
posted 10 Dec 2021 by Krister Axel
A luscious gem of acoustic folk pop that explores the contradiction inherent in our own being.

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Whenever I hear a groove like this, I am instantly engaged. With beautiful organic tones on the drum set and a subtle counterpoint between the bass and guitar, the roots vibe here is strong and carries the entire arrangement in a determined yet languid shuffle of organic notes and shimmering beats. 'On Naming' is a song about the power of language to create and destroy the world equally—and the responsibility we share as humans to acknowledge the range of this coercive gift.

Mikayla McVey writes and performs throughout her home in Northern California, exploring music as a facilitator towards building community and personal connection. "On Naming" is the first single from her debut LP "Time Turns Everything," and showcases a profound and exceptional collaboration with Mat Davidson (aka twain) and producer James Wallace. At its core this luscious gem of acoustic folk pop explores the contradiction inherent in our own being: if the greatest moments in life are ineffable and lie completely beyond expression, why is it that so many of us spend our lives attempting to, in effect, name the un-nameable?

"On Naming" does not attempt to provide easy answers but rather finds common cause in a world full of creativity, as we (rather blindly) work towards building a life of meaning for ourselves while also taking the time to appreciate 'bones and lashes; lips to trace the words that never came.' Often enough, language can sap the strength of the thing it was meant to support when we make the mistake of trading a promise at equal value for the action it describes.

Mikayla gives us much to think about as we enjoy a blissful union of melody and spiritual poise, richly delivered inside a decidedly Taoist metaphor of 'effort as the scourge of natural engagement.'

Let it go, and it comes back to you.

Look at this thing closely
Now see it out of frame
Let it burn inside you, baby
Don't give it a name
The name is a thousand ways
To erase that which you
Gazed upon so lovingly


Mikayla McVey: vocals
Mat Davidson (twain): vocals
James Wallace: vibraphone, guitar
Sam Doores: drums
Danny Vitali: bass
Miles Lassi: percussion

"Time Turns Everything" was produced by James Wallace, engineered by Miles Lassi at Skyline Studios (Oakland, CA) & James Wallace at Huge Planet (Nashville, TN), mixed by Jake Davis at Seismic Sound (Nashville, TN), and mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering (Ventura, CA).

Visit Mikayla McVey on Instagram.

Read this story on Apple News.

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