Popping Up: Max Frost
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.
Austin-based artist/producer Max Frost achieved the rare feat of topping Hype Machine’s ‘Most Popular Tracks’ twice with breakthrough single “White Lies”. The enormous online hype helped land the newcomer a deal with Atlantic Records and signaled the arrival of an extremely promising newcomer.
A perky synth-soul explosion that dementedly pieces together his lady’s suspicious activities, the above-mentioned paranoia-laced pop track is instantly hummable alt-pop gem. But don’t expect to the former English major (he dropped out of college to pursue music — smart move, as it turns out!) to be defined by that record.
Max’s debut EP Low High Low, which dropped October 8, dabbles heavily in roots and blues as well as exploring electronic elements and hip-hop influences. The budding star is still finding his sound but he’s a work in progress that is well worth following. Learn all there is to know about this talented Texan after the jump.
REAL NAME: Matthew Alexander Frost
HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas
SOUNDS LIKE: As an artist who mixes genres diverse as blues, hip hop and electronica — it’s hard to draw a solid comparison. On “White Lies”, the Texan channels David Bowie and The Killers in equal measure. In low key roots mode, he sounds more like Jeff Buckley or the John Butler Trio with a slight southern twist.
“WHITE LIES”: “I didn’t want the song to be about a girl actually cheating on you as much as a song about the feeling of being unsure,” Max tells us. “It’s like you’re using your mind trying to put it all together. I think a lot of guys have had that experience of paranoia.”
ON ALMOST LOSING “WHITE LIES”: “I had my hard drive and laptop stolen after SXSW — before anything had really blown up,” the multi-faceted crooner laments. “So I lost the files for almost everything I had ever done except for ‘White Lies’. It’s the only song that I had saved the stems on Dropbox.” (Note to aspiring musicians, always save your stuff!)
THE VIDEO: “There are so many ideas spinning around on that,” the Austin auteur admits. “We’ve been talking about making a video for that song for almost a year now. I haven’t yet had that euphoric moment of this is what’s gonna happen.” However, he promises something special. “We’re narrowing the ideas down and we’re going to film it before the tour starts. It’s going to be good!”
HIS EP: “I wanted to pick songs that show some diversity and gave more of a deeper look into what I’m doing now as an artist,” Max explains. “I want to make sure that my brand is developed and understood in people’s minds beyond ‘White Lies’. I like that as a song and it represents me well but it’s only one facet of what I’m doing.”
WHY IT’S CALLED ‘LOW HIGH LOW’: “The concept of Low High Low was the dynamic emotional extremes I present in the songs,” he says. “I wanted to give a nice diverse display of what people could expect from the record.” Mission accomplished.