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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Untouchable" - Maya Malkin

With how fast the state of our world seems to change by the day, it can be easy to ignore the underlying dynamics that have consistently shaped society from the past to present. On the latest single from singer/songwriter, Maya Malkin, the Toronto-based artist lampoons the notion that pervasive sexism is "just the way it is." The charming sound of "Untouchable" is sharpened through its lyrical commentary on prevailing, patriarchal power structures. Each instrument is produced and layered into the mix with such intentionality, rewarding close listens. I love the high impact choices Malkin makes throughout its runtime. The percussion is explosive through the verses, blossoming into a slighter-but-denser beat in the catchy chorus. The keyboard synthesizer—playing the most significant instrumental role— frequently distorts into a heart-stopping inferno. In the final chorus, "Untouchable" takes flight into a lush soundscape of vocal layering and pop bliss. Her sound welcomes you into its ethereal world, but Malkin reminds us that our tangible world is failing to progress.

"That's the way it is, that's the way it goes," repeats Malkin throughout "Untouchable." Her delivery is matter-of-face, replicating the resignation within its messaging. Instead of accepting this compliance, she directs her frustration with it. Sexism is as pervasive in society as it is to this day because of the "just how it is" mindset. While patriarchy can feel like an insurmountable force to dismantle, it is a fatalistic error to regard it as such. The pre-chorus finds impact in specificity: "Go ahead call me a bitch, I don't deserve it. Validate some chick, shame me for the same shit." It's a reminder that there is a burden to accepting toxic dynamics as facts of life.

Originally from Montreal, the now-Toronto-based musician, Maya Malkin, first entered the music scene through her band Motel Raphael. She began releasing under her solo project, however, in 2020. "Untouchable" released alongside Malkin's debut album Congratulations. The album is a buffet of indie-pop hits, covering the genre's many angles. From the gritty pop-rock of "Hypocrite" to the bubblegum daydream of "Hostage," Malkin shows versatility and expertise in blending these sounds into a cohesive project. The nine-track record is well-worth your time, showcasing a rising star in her element.

Written By Andy Mockbee

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