Mayday Parade releases impressive EP with one less band member

Odi Opole, Web Editor

On March 4, Mayday Parade released its newest material since 2009 in the form of Valdosta. Although it’s just an EP, Valdosta has a lot to offer both first-time listeners and diehard fans.
The album includes four acoustic covers of earlier songs and they are genius. Taking a step out of its comfort zone, the band succeeds in making its old songs new again by adding violins, piano accompaniment, body and new sound to the album while maintaining the original hooks and melodies.
Lead singer Derek Sanders takes a few leaps of faith by covering songs like “Your Song” and “Jaime All Over,” previously recorded with ex-band member Jason Lancaster. Sanders handles the timing and overlaps in lyrics very well, and despite the absence of a second voice, the songs retain their spark and feeling.
The other two songs on Valdosta, “Amber Lynn” and “Terrible Things,” are two promising new tunes that show the band is maturing both in subject matter and songwriting ability. Classic Mayday Parade, “Amber Lynn,” tells the story of a relationship that can’t be. It’s pretty and sweet, but nothing new for the band.
“Terrible Things,” however, is a different story.
The song keeps things simple and is all about emotion — how the best thing can turn into the worst. The lyrics are reminiscent of songs written before Lancaster’s exit — good news for the fans who missed the raw touch and poetry of his lyrics. This is also good news for the band, because it shows they are not and were not made or broken by Lancaster.
“Terrible Things” also packs a punch in instrumental choice — most of the song includes only a piano, and the guitars and drums don’t kick in until the more emotional bridge and final verse. “Terrible Things” seems to be a turning point for Mayday Parade, and if it’s a hint of songs to come, then people better start saving up for the band’s next album.
A game-changing EP, Valdosta has two great ingredients: old hits made new and soon-to-be hits. The EP shows Mayday Parade can make some of its loudest songs soft, and make old lyrical concepts new. A well-timed release, Valdosta gives the band a chance to shine and show they have moved beyond losing a band member while keeping their original quality and charisma.