Mac Ayres has been gracing the soul and R&B scenes with a strong series of releases since early 2017. After touring the US and Europe, Ayres has released his first album, ‘Something to Feel’, and is now sharing his first music video for ‘Get To You Again’, the lead single from the record.
The Long Islander’s musical roots go back to his childhood when he first felt driven to pick up the keyboard after listening to Stevie Wonder. Over the course of a decade, Ayres taught himself guitar and bass, maintained his first love of singing, and honed his craft by performing in restaurants around his hometown, Sea Cliff. While Ayres is building a reputation as a soul and R&B artist, he is also receptive to releases from contemporaries within the genres. “I’ve been listening to a lot of Gwen Bunn”, Ayres says of artists he currently has on rotation, “her project really speaks to me.” Ayres also cites the recently released live album from jazz quintet Butcher Brown. He adds that “they’ve been an inspiration to me for a long time”.
Often praised for his unique instrumentation and his emotive, introspective lyrics, Mac Ayres’ ‘Get To You Again’ is just that. A series of twangy jazz guitar chords first lull you into the single before Ayres’ silken vocals roll over the instrumental as he croons “I guess we’ll meet again, my friend.” While the tracks soulful, downtempo feel is definitely soothing to listen to, there is a sense of yearning in its tone and subject; a factor which is part of the story behind ‘Get To You Again’ according to Ayres.
“I wrote the song while I was in New York”, he says of the single, “my girlfriend lives in LA and she had just flown home from visiting. I was feeling really mopey and just not acting like myself, so I’m asking how to get back to her”. This is definitely something as evident in Ayres’ lyrics as it is in the overall tone of the track. Ayres further adds “I’m also asking how to get back to the person I knew I was straying from.” This particularly seems to resonate in the bridge of ‘Get To You Again’, where Ayres seems to splice the subjects of heartache and his public/private personas as a growing musician.
Getting Undine Markus onboard to direct the video, Ayres comments that “we […] wanted it to feel nostalgic.” Down to the aesthetics, both the slowed down driving shots and music videos transitional, crackling vintage filters certainly do produce a sense of nostalgia. The feeling of yearning and the struggle of long-distance relationships that inspires the track is perfectly mirrored in the video for the song, but the story how the couple met openly to your interpretation.
Mac Ayres’ debut is available to listen to on all streaming services and you can check out the video for ‘Get To You Again’ below.
Words by George Ellerby