Search The Line of Best Fit
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Max Winter enraptures listeners with a hazy synth dream in latest single "Lean Into Me"

21 July 2023, 17:30 | Written by Camryn Teder

Max Winter’s willingness to experiment across unexpected genres creates an especially arcane discography. The mysticism runs especially deep with his latest release, "Lean Into Me"

Experimentalism in music is far from uncommon, but not many musicians have minds that swim with musical concepts as rich and varied as Max Winter’s. Synthetic chords bleed into acoustic melodies, jazz riffs find a perfect place in the middle of a brooding pop song. Winter creates voraciously and is unafraid to approach any musical genre in the book. The result of this restless curiosity is a sound unlike most others; pop-infused and hazy, smart, and effortlessly melodic.

This special ambition is especially evident in Winter’s newest single "Lean Into Me". One of the artist’s most unique tracks yet, Winter acknowledged that this particular lo-fi focused track, a duet, signals a refocusing of his musical lens toward his songwriting. Still, those other musical textures, from the driving piano to the low strums of a bass, come through just as naturally as before.

With deconstructed vocal takes, modulated drums, buzzing synth, and low-end guitar tracks, "Lean Into Me" is an ambiguous collage. It glitters with a deliberate funk-edged sound while remaining balanced across consistent piano chords. Other little chaoses dwell beneath the liminal space of the main melody, and altogether it inspires a sense of unconditional contentment, moving in space.

Coming from a highly experimental discography, Winter admits to seeing himself growing musically with each new track, and that sentiment is especially true in this single. The sparse landscape he crafts here is different than his other songs and lays bare a new kind of vulnerability for the artist.

“'Lean Into Me' was based on a piano riff I came up with whilst actually teaching a piano lesson,” he said. “It was a very spontaneous process. Sometimes my temptation is to maybe dwell on negative things lyrically, so ‘Lean Into Me’ feels quite refreshing. It’s a happy song really, celebrating being happy.”

Winter made the single during a period of heavy self-discipline, a time when he attempted to write at least one musical idea a day. With the help of collaborators Will Lister and IMOGEN, the trio honed this track, among others, in a studio out of South-East London. This single serves as the first project of a new series from his London record label untitled (rec)’s new singles series which looks to pay tribute to spontaneous releases.

Winter cites bands like experimental jazz trio The Necks, producer Oneohtrix Point Never, and the British pop group Talk Talk as influences. Using his appreciation across these many genres, and including many others from hip-hop to classical, Winter is able to grasp and execute musical concepts that bring out something special in his music: a sound that most any listener can indulge in.

"Lean Into Me" is out now. Find Max Winter on Instagram.

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