Last week, when Malejen dropped her latest single Angels In The Dark, we were immediately immersed in her rich, indie-folk sounds.
The Brisbane singer-songwriter crafts music with a sense of experience that it takes most artists a lifetime to develop. So we caught up with the artist for run-down on the gear that shaped her sound.
Fresh off the release of her incredibly captivating new single Angels In The Dark, we caught up with Majelen for a run-down on the gear that shaped her sound.
Words by Majelen: So I have a very simple set up in comparison to many guitarists out there, and I have done that very intentionally.
I spend as much time backpacking and travelling the world as I can, and I just can’t afford to be carting massive amounts of pedals and other gizmos with me all the time! My focus, instead, is on bringing things back to basics and just focussing on my voice and my guitar, with my guitar at the centre of everything I do.
My choice of guitar has always kind of been a no-brainer for me. My main inspiration as a teenager was Tommy Emmanuel – I love the way he can make a guitar sound like it is really speaking lyrics to you on a deeper level.
He is honestly my idol and I love his music and go a little bit fan girl over his stuff even today… so of course I bought his guitar. I play a Maton 808EGPTE and it is literally like an extension of myself.
I don’t go anywhere, like literally anywhere, without it (ask my family, they’ll tell you how crazy I am about that thing!).
It has an incredibly warm tone and has a bit of strength in the Scalloped X Bracing on the face (which also gives it a bit more bass tone compared to a non-scalloped brace top).
It’s got an APG5Pro pickup too which is typical Maton awesomeness and really rounds out the lower end of the guitar without overpowering the higher layers of sound. This is important for me because I do so much percussive work and I really need to be able to make sure I can get a great bass tone out for the ‘kick’ sound, as well as having a rich, mellow sound for both chordal work and melodic lines.
I play using Elixir 13-53’s for the same reason – I want warmth and roundedness in tone but also enough strength in the higher E string to have the melody notes sing out.
My amp of choice is an AER Compact 60, it’s got two channels so I can plug my guitar in one channel through my Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper (super compact and easy to fit into a backpack) and a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal, and then vocals go in the second channel. Easy as!
I’m heading overseas again in November after my single release to play some shows in Vietnam, then travel through Loas and Cambodia and into Thailand to film a documentary and a music video for Angels In The Dark – all about raising awareness about human trafficking and sex slavery around the globe.
After that I’m heading to England to be with my partner for Christmas before we both head back down south again next year! For that trip though I’ll have to cut back to just taking my two pedals and my guitar – I travel with only carry on baggage so I’ve gotta pack very light!
For more information about the Angels in the Dark project follow me on facebook and instagram at @majelenmusic :)
Angels In The Dark is available now.