Today, Max Winter returns with a new single, “Lean Into Me”. The single follows last month’s announcement of a new open series named (zero) powered by London tastemakers untitled (recs). (zero) will focus on releasing short form projects, and stems from a willingness and yearning to go back to the enthusiasm of spontaneous releases. Home to the likes of TAAHLIAH, Famous, Jerskin Fendrix, Waterbaby and collaborating with artists such as King Krule, Loraine James and BABii, untitled (recs) have made a name for themselves by discovering and representing explorative trailblazing artists.

The first single in the series is a double A-side – “O Matter” / “Lean Into Me” – from Max Winter, and comes from an artist who wholly embraces that ethos. Having produced and written with the likes of GAIKA, Lauren Auder and hotly tipped songwriter Sophie May.

Speaking about the (zero) series, untitled (recs) says, “We have always enjoyed working on LPs and helping artists execute their vision in the long term. Yet, with (zero) we want to return to something more spontaneous. Find it, package it, release it. We want to go back to that simple idea of what a label can be.”

Max Winter’s music seeks to traverse a breadth of styles – a world where freewheeling jazzwise drum workouts linger behind driving bass and glooming electronics, where cuttings of melodic and angular vocal clips playfully exchange with restrained melodic ambience, where driving & pummelling big drop productions resurface as experimental pop stunners.

While “O Matter” displayed the more esoteric side of his creativity, pairing shuffled fragments taken from guitar and drum takes (that were recorded on his phone) alongside vocal melodies which were then deconstructed, electronically manipulated, and restructured into the final song, “Lean Into Me” shows a contemplative, more stripped back aspect to Winter’s output. Featuring another guest turn from IMOGEN, melancholic and minimalist piano loops to create something fragile and spectral, quietly propulsive, a thing of early hours beauty.

Speaking on the single, Max says, “’Lean Into Me was based on a piano riff I came up with whilst actually teaching a piano lesson. At home I recorded it, looped it and recorded some quick lyrics over it. I showed it to IMOGEN and together we crafted the rest. It only took 2 sessions. It was a very spontaneous process. Sometimes my temptation is to maybe dwell on negative things lyrically, so ‘Lean Into Me’ feels quite refreshing. It’s a happy song really, celebrating being happy.’

Whereas Max’s previous releases have focused heavily on sound and texture, this new material exemplifies how his compositions have developed into a more direct, song-based writing, whilst continuing to push the relationship between acoustic instruments and electronic. His writing is informed by inspirations reaching far and wide, from the restrained, understated pathways forged by bands such as Talk Talk and The Necks, to the likes of Injury Reserve and their ability to use melody as an anchor amongst chaos, and then from there gazing towards the future focus of the musically informed, borderless freedom explored by artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never, Laurel Halo, and Tirzah. All of these touchpoints in his writing are subtly underpinned with an understanding and appreciation of classical & quiet music forms of composition encompassed and explored by masters such as Akira Rabelais, Harold Budd, David Sylvian.

Catch Max Winter live:


13th The Social, London

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