Having played with the likes of Woodhands, Henri Fabregé and the Adorables and the Bicycles, Maylee Todd is no stranger to the indie rock scene, but her solo material jumps across genres, with hints of pop, jazz, funk, R&B and more.
"I hear a lot of Latin influence," Todd says. "Growing up, my father, who's also an Elvis impersonator, listened to a lot of Latin music." Todd's father taught her classical guitar, and inspired her to later pick up the Paraguayan harp (she plays both, as well as synth and percussion, on her album). "And Disney movies. I'm going to call Disney music a genre."
Todd's playfulness and quirky sense of humour colour her newly released first solo album, Choose Your Own Adventure. There's a light-hearted, summery feel to the album, which features song titles like "Aerobics in Space" and "PEGWEE POWER!!!"
The latter was inspired by depression, Todd explains. She works as a personal trainer at her day job. "They'd give me the more artsy clients, and I kept getting these people who weren't ready for training, they were ready for a therapist," she says.
"The Pegwee is a motivator, it's a little creature that helps you through the day...it's fuzzy, with big ears, big googly eyes---it's just supposed to help and motivate you." Audiences at her Halifax and Evolve shows may see more: Todd is having a Pegwee mascot costume made, which she hopes will be completed in time. Her love of costumes also comes out in bizarre styles on her album cover and her online videos. "We're all kind of big kids, as much as we pretend not to be," she says. "I have a very playful outlook on life."
Of her album title, Todd says, "I love the [Choose Your Own Adventure] books, but besides the books, this was a bit of an adventure for me, I was learning to play a lot of these instruments, I'd played with other projects but this was the first time working on my own material."
"I didn't feel like I was ready, you're never ready, but I thought it was time."