Mondays don't have to be hard. Hell, life doesn't have to be hard. Of course, it is; we know this. But then you stumble upon something like Maribou State's remix of "Fixed," a new song from the Australian singer George Maple, and you briefly forget that tax day is around the corner and it's snowing in March. The metaphorical clouds part, and for five minutes, 27 seconds, and a few dazed moments afterwards, it's as though everything in the immediate vicinity — the walls, the furniture, the riders on the subway — had sprouted into a thick carpet of daisies that are singing quietly just for you.
George Maple is apparently something of a hot property. She appeared on the Australian producer Flume's recent album, singing (and co-writing) "Bring You Down," and she's been working with buzzed-about new-schoolers like Bondax. Like Jessie Ware and Roses Gabor, she's got a voice that sounds great threaded through up-to-the-minute electronic productions. She gives her heavy-hearted soul a much-needed spring in its step, imbuing fluid melodies with elastic little fillips; her multi-tracked harmonies spread out like sunlight run through a prism.
No matter how sumptuous the production, it's a bleak song, a downward spiral of desire against one's better judgment that's rendered as a slow-motion crash and burn, but Maribou State turn it into something light and hopeful. Stripping away the shadows from the original, their rework takes the term "stem" (producer-speak for the discrete parts used in a remix) literally, zooming in on individual elements — a trembling flourish of harp, or a sinewy backmasked guitar — like green tendrils captured in time-lapse photography. Ribbons of Maple's voice become the cushion for a lilting, broken-beat house groove flecked with kalimba and plucked acoustic bass. The beat feels like gravity hiccupping; that glissando is the sound of a thousand frowns turning upside down. A song about fixation becomes a song about things being made whole again.