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  • Hailey Schap

Review: "Traffic" - Maryjo

“Traffic”, Maryjo’s latest release, is a heartfelt ballad offering an expression of emotion concerning the lack of such feelings. It’s about a jam up, a pause, interrupting the usual flow of emotion, communication, etc. The song describes the feeling of being in a relationship where, no you're not the ones who have crashed, but you're also not going anywhere. Of course, this comes with frustration which Maryjo expresses beautifully through her passionately strong voice featured near the beginning and end of the piece; but, there is also a feeling of loss amidst these situations which can be found in the slower portions, the majority, of the song. This combination allows for the perfect representation of claustrophobia within a relationship, a feeling that is not often expressed with such ease.

The song begins with Maryjo belting out her initial emotions. “I wanna love you so bad”, you can hear her passion, not even for the relationship necessarily, but for passion itself. She screams this as if it’s the first time she’s been able to. For the majority of the ballad, she sings as if she is actively breaking up with this partner. Beginning with a build up of aggravation, and then softening into an empathetic and grieving explanation. The piano featured in the background is careful not to interrupt her, keeping the pace and offering a saddened tone without being the focal point of the piece. Maryjo’s timing, the speed in which she goes through her lyrics and her loud silences after certain phrases, make the song a devastating and realistic listen into her thought process. As she sings about going down a rabbit hole, she speeds up and words spill out, but after each impactful description of the relationship, every admission that it should end, she grants a moment to take it in. The piece ends with a moment like this occurring after the last line “It’s like we’re stuck in traffic”.

Maryjo was born in Knoxville, Tennessee as an immediate musical prodigy. She began writing songs as a young girl, and studying piano in only fourth grade, her stage fright being her only limitation. But even this would be quickly overcome with her appearance on a stage many would find more intimidating than any, the stage of American Idol. Her appearance in season nineteen of the show would serve as a form of “breakthrough”, opening the door for her to gain a record deal and release her debut single, “Love Fools”. Now, that single has over 400,000 streams on Spotify, following releases boast over a million, she holds over 1.2 million followers on Tiktok, and she has amassed fans across the country; all due to her pure authenticity and talent.

Written By Hailey Schap



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