Danny Heggen and Mickey Davis are the Des Moines electronic pop band MAIDS. They’ve been collaborating since 2012 on singles and some inspired remixes for bands including Iowa artists Land of Blood and Sunshine and the Envy Corps. MAIDS latest release, a 5-track EP titled These Days, serves as a bridge between their two fantastic singles from 2014 and 2015 (“Do This Better” and the New Order-ish “Bandits”) and the remaining three tracks will be included on their upcoming debut album, which will be co-produced by St. Lucia’s Ross Clark.
MAIDS refers to their style of music as “Midwest Disco,” which is a cute, if unhelpful, name for their particular take on electronic pop. While they may be regionally land-locked, their songs stand up against many recent Top 40 bands in the Electronic Pop genre — think: Capital Cities, Daft Punk, MGMT, The Weeknd, Calvin Harris, Empire of the Sun.
But, beyond that, MAIDS brings something to the electropop table largely missing from those bands: a sense of humanity and vulnerability that recalls the first great wave of synthpop in the ’80s. Heggen’s vocals convey that reaching desire that bands like Pet Shop Boys and Spandau Ballet had, and which ultimately is what makes songs universal and timeless.
The EP wraps up with “Takes A Little Magic” — a circular song which builds over a simple beat and instrumental that pushes Heggen to the fore singing “Come on and let me see ya, let me feel it from you. I can’t wait.” The repeating and building creates anticipation for the eventual resolution of the chorus at 3:24, which takes the song to the close — a much more tasteful use of build and release than the meatheaded dubstep “bass drop.”
MAIDS are heading to the studio soon to work on their upcoming full album of their take on electropop. These Days gives us something to tide us over until that comes out, and something we can add to our summer playlists for impromptu midwestern discos wherever we are.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 202.