Asbury Park’s Renee Maskin Releases Valentine’s Day Track (Song Premiere) Renee Maskin
Label: Mint 400 Records
Reviewed by Sam Lowry

Asbury Park Renee Maskin is a staple on the Indie Folk scene in New Jersey and she brings another folk gem to life just in time for Valentine’s Day 2023

Singer-songwriter Renee Maskin had a busy 2022, and her trajectory this year doesn’t seem to be wavering. On the heels of a critically acclaimed debut solo LP, Swimming and follow-up EP Dreams a River last year, Maskin has another LP Renee Maskin & The Mysterious Wilds on deck for this spring. But before that comes a surprise single in honor of our most infamous capitalistic holiday: Valentine’s Day. 

Love it, hate it, or indifferent, it’s hard to escape Valentine’s Day. Maskin’s song echoes the feeling, “All washed out in the fray, walking alone on Valentine’s Day”. It plays a little like Morrisey’s “Every Day Is Like Sunday”. The lyrics have a darkness, but also a subtle humor.  And there is a sweetness in the delivery that wraps the whole song in a serene, pop bow. At the core of “Valentine’s Day” are smokey vocals laid over an earthy acoustic guitar riff. But it’s the slow build up of textural synths and harmonies throughout the track that are what really gives the song its vibrance. And it’s that combination of elements that has become Maskin’s signature style.

Maskin is quoted as saying this about her upcoming special single, “The pursuit of love can be a pretty lonely one. And worse than being alone on Valentine’s Day is being with the wrong person. When that happens, you’re in this thing that you know is not what you want, but you’re trying to get on board with it anyway. You want to move forward emotionally in some way. You’re trying to force it. Which never actually works out in the end, and you kind of know it the whole time in the back of your mind. That’s really what the song is about. The search for connection, and how that can go wrong. And how you can stay in the wrong situation because on the surface it feels easier than going it alone. ‘Here in your arms, here in the chains of Valentine’s Day’.

I listen to a lot of Lambchop. I was going for a Nixon vibe with this one. Of course, at the end of the day it’s just me with some guitars and toys and things. I never quite get to that moon I’m shooting. But still, it’s nice to have a palette to draw from. 

I’m grateful to be at a point in my life where I’ve found myself in a healthy relationship with a strong foundation. So while this song itself is pretty fresh, it is not currently autobiographical. But ya know… I’ve been there. Hopefully it resonates for anyone else who has been there too.”

Add this track to your V-Day playlists tomorrow when it drops on all streaming services!

folk indie folk indie pop indie rock