Maxi – “Walking with the Animals” (video) (Premiere)

Mixing together the stylings of female powerhouses like Florence Welch and Adele along with a heaping spoonful of '80's synths, Australian songwriter Maxi has a catchy new tune in "Walking with the Animals".

Take equal parts Florence and the Machine and Adele's 21, throw in a heaping spoonful of '80's synth-pop instrumentation and you've got Maxi's "Walking with the Animals". Maxi Vauzelle, who goes solely by her first name as a performer, hails from Melbourne, Australia, and with one EP already under her belt she's gunning to expand her sound from here on out. Her voice, already powerful in its own right, becomes even more gripping when the soulful backing vocals in "Walking with the Animals" join her in her exploration of the primal side of human experience.

"Walking with the Animals" now has a video, directed by Nathan Bobik. Says Maxi of the tune that led to the video, "The song was written at a time in my life when I felt really unsure of what I was doing. Honestly, I felt quite scared. It's about this experience and also about feeling lost and disconnected from people." This naturally translated into the vision for the video: "The boy in the video clip feels the same way, and finds the courage to step out of his boring suburban life and be who he really wants."

For Maxi, the process of making the video ultimately enhanced her experience of the song itself. "I worked with Nathan Bobik and Sher Taulla from ShotCut Entertainment on my first video and again on 'Walking with the Animals'. We worked together to create the final cut from my initial concept. We had 25 kids from 8 to 14 come and audition for the roles. The boys especially were fabulous. We asked them to mime to [Gloria Gaynor's] 'I Will Survive'; it was great! It was shot in one day at one of my friend's house and a dance studio close to my house. Twin Peaks and Billy Elliot were big inspirations for the look and vibe of the clip".

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Continuing our celebration of PopMatters' 20th anniversary, we revisit our 10 picks for the best debut albums of 2009. It turns out our selections were prescient as many of these artists have gone on to storied careers. Travel back to 2009 and see them again for the first time.


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