Today’s a special one at Vehlinggo. I’m offering you exclusive, early access to two different offerings from the imaginative world of Mecha Maiko. First, you can stream her mesmerizing new electronic EP Okiya in its entirety two days in advance of its Friday release. Second, watch the music video for “Bug,” one of the most captivating cuts on the record.
Okiya, a Zoey Records release, sees the Toronto-based synth-pop artist dive deep into sonic experimentation, inventively bending her synths, samples, drums, and other electronic elements into new dimensions. Malleable song structures and arrangements also find a new mold in her eminently capable hands.
But Mecha Maiko, AKA Hayley Stewart, never strays from some of her hallmarks, which she established on last year’s full-length, Mad But Soft: a preternatural ability to craft some profoundly catchy hooks, to sing entrancingly her evocative lyrics, and to paint some starkly beautiful synthscapes. Pre-order the EP on digital and/or vinyl right now. (The 12″ also features remixes by Bogdan Dražić (The Trilogy Tapes, Giallo Disco Records) and another by Jessiquoi (Zoey Records).
For a visual representation of the unbridled creativity on display, check out the video for the serpentine “Bug” below:
What Is Okiya About?
Here’s the story at the center of the EP, as told by Mecha Maiko: It is 1930s Japan. World leaders have established a complex relationship with an advanced civilization from Alpha Centauri B, trading natural resources for new technologies. City populations skyrocket and the demand for luxurious goods and entertainment is unquenchable.
A boarding house in Kyoto receives a new shipment of androids. The mother uploads all the necessary memories and relationships for the hundred new girls to begin their lives as geisha and maiko. These are the memories of one particular maiko unit.
Learn More about Mecha Maiko
Mecha Maiko is one of those artists whose work I treasure the most, and so naturally she’s been a fixture on Vehlinggo. Last year, the former Dead Astronauts member was the subject of an in-depth profile on this site, and I interviewed her a few months later for The Vehlinggo Podcast. She also made appearances at last year’s NEON Festival as a performer and as a panelist on the Ladies of Synth panel.