There’s nothing quite like coming home from an Our Lady Peace gig to find that its’ lead singer, Raine Maida, has recently released some new solo music. For free. The lead up to the inevitable sophomore solo album from Maida, Pachamama is everything Our Lady Peace cannot be. It’s electronic and experimental in a way that will never be right for OLP. There’s trumpet flourishes adding a jazz feel one moment, swirling strings the next with a backing female vocalist as accompaniment. And it’s all held together by Maida whose voice is beautiful and soulful, his lyrics brilliant.

The only downside of this short EP (Three songs) is that it will make listeners restlessly yearn for more which should (hopefully) be coming soon until an eventual album drops. According to Maida, the album will consist of the EP’s with some bonus material. But enough about the future, let’s check out Pachamama, shall we?

Opener “Sleep” is simply gorgeous. Amidst an organ and a strong string crescendo, Maida enters and completes the trifecta. Add a steady percussive backbeat and piano accents and the song is almost perfect…until the drums and the aforementioned backing female accompaniment come in and knock the song out of the park. “Itchy” is a nice little slow jam and then “The Places You Will Go” quickens the pace and adds a trumpet to the proceedings while Maida sings of Dr. Seuss (Not really, but the song title reminds me of the book).

And then it’s over and the yearning begins. Pachamama is available for free on Mr. Maida’s website right now (Did I mention it was for free?).

Grade: A

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