Believe it or not, music videos still exist. Sound Tracks trolls the internet to find the best and the worst of local artists’ new singles and the good, bad, or otherwise noteworthy visuals that accompany them.
Maylee Todd, as a performer, is a chameleon. You’re as likely to see her biking around town with a large Paraguayan harp strapped to her back as you are to see her toting a guitar. From gig to gig, she’ll bust out avante garde electronic instrument the Tenori-on, or show up with a headset mic and a posse of exuberant aerobicizers for a Sweatshop Hop session, or play a set of smoky jazz and blues songs with her band, Pegwee Power.
This wide variety of showcase skills has her much in demand among up-and-coming filmmakers, and Todd thrives on collaboration (she’s played with Woodhands, Henri Fabergé & The Adorables, The Bicycles, Circle Research, and many more). It also helps that she has a sense of humour (her YouTube handle is mayleepooface); she trained with Second City as an improviser before settling on music as her chosen vocation.
“Maylee is so wildly creative and unpredictable,” says Mitch Fillion, creator of the popular acoustic video series Southern Souls. Todd’s first set of videos with him (they’ve just released a second set), where she plays her harp at the Toronto Zoo while gorillas tussle and an otter swims playfully in circles, ranks among the most popular on the site. (The videos may not work right now, as Southern Souls has had its video library deleted by Vimeo.)
For Live in Bellwoods, whose video of “Heart Throb” is embedded above, Todd returned to the scene of her first official video, “Summer Sounds.” In the latter video, by Jared Sales, Todd went from dancing in the grassy park to blasting off into space to dance with aliens on an asteroid. For the acoustic performance of “Heart Throb,” produced by Humble Empire, the alien dancers come to her, surrounding her in a circle of bright spandex and silvery bodysuits. The CN Tower is nicely framed in the background, and curious onlookers can be seen in the distance; by the end of the video, a quick pan reveals that a sizable crowd has gathered while the video was being filmed. It’s possible that many of them just stopped to watch the action, but it’s just as likely they recognized Maylee.
Todd’s debut album Choose Your Own Adventure is out today on iTunes and at record stores via Do Right Music. You can also order it through her website, and score some free remixes and other swag.