Meet Mabes, the English singer-songwriter with the Kacey Musgraves aesthetic and Maisie Peters-esque sweet vocals.
You may have caught Mabes’ latest tune, “Keeping The Noise Down” on last week’s New Music Friday playlist on Spotify, or you may have been following her quiet but assured climb since she began last year.
“Keeping The Noise Down” is Mabes’ first single since her album, Wait and See, came out last year. The record collated the seven tunes she’d shared with the world in that time.
For fans of John Mayer, Laura Marling, and Bon Iver, Mabes’ sound is gentle and enchanting; a delightful folk-pop addition to anyone’s playlist. Whilst she undoubtedly carries a young and fresh Next-Big-Thing vibe, there’s something charmingly old school about her.
Mabes started playing guitar at 15 and began gigging in her home town of Billericay, Essex after growing up with a love of performance. It’s no surprise, then, that she went on to study at the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School in London.
Whilst there, Mabes found that she loved the singing lessons she took at the school. However, she preferred to write her own music than perform covers of musical theatre tunes. So, she took to her bedroom to write reflective, often melancholic numbers that would intrigue people, “Not sticking to basic time signatures and scales.”
“A lot of my songs come from my teenage conscience telling the stories of my struggle through to adulthood,” Mabes tells us. “The observations of social awkwardness, power-struggles to be the ‘loudest’, the ‘funniest’, the ‘coolest’. School felt like hot hell – I was a deep thinker I couldn’t relate to other kids. It was a lonely time for me but I always hoped life would be something more. One day the penny dropped – ‘fitting-in’ is not actually such a big deal and that’s ok.