Max Bien Kahn ⫸ ⫸ ⫸ ⫸ ⫸ ⫸
Listening to Max Bien Kahn's music is like partying to someone's diary. Bien Kahn brings depth, humor, and honesty to personal songwriting, which he sets to arrangements that get in your body and make you want to move. Blending elements of swamp pop, 60s rock, folk, and modern indie rock - - with influences ranging from The Kinks to The Silver Jews -- Bien Kahn adds his own personality and a dancefloor vibe to a long legacy of classic sounds.
Max Bien-Kahn's music is represented for
sync licensing by Rollo Grady.
All The Same
Perpetual Doom is proud to present the second full-length album from Max and the Martians: All the Same. Masterminded by songwriter Max Bien-Kahn, Max and the Martians features a cast of all-star musicians spun from the restless world of New Orleans nightlife. Their self-titled debut appeared in 2016, Curtains EP in 2019, and Stay at Home Demos in 2020. All the Same follows those projects up with a statement, sharpening the Martians' wounded country sound into resolute, danceable rock and roll.
That statement arrives under punch-drunk keys and relentlessly staccato snare. Max opens the record with an unlikely invitation: “I’ll just wait in this burning building,” he sings as the track builds, “It’s all the same to me and you.” Care to join him? All the Same is a record for dancing while the building burns—it’s the sound of freedom mingling with unease. “I’ve been waiting for the summer, but the summer came too fast” quips the rowdy “Love on Vacation.” These tracks confront heartbreak, grief, and that creeping sense of unease at summer’s end. But if these are sad songs, Max and the Martians do not believe sad songs need make you cry. Max insists that even the saddest songs can make you want to dance and even laugh a little. Assisted by engineer and co-producer Ross Farbe, Max crafts arrangements that can fan that blazing building into a fury (“Milky Way,” “Please Remember”) or bring it to soft glow (“Lust Will Linger,” “Lay Your Body”). The house lights come down on lead single “Please Hold On,” where the band revives a country swing: “I’ll be a flash of light for your weathered mind, if you hold on.”
It is a promise that speaks for the entire record, which brings together talent from across the Big Easy. In the tradition of that city, the album features contributions from musicians (Ray Micarelli, Chris Booth, Gina Leslie, Shaye Cohn) and vocalists (Esther Rose, Sabine McCalla, Gina Leslie, Camille Weatherford, and Carver Baronda) who are also songwriters and bandleaders. Backed by this enormous supporting cast, All the Same is Max and the Martians’ reaching new heights.
Release Date: March 12, 2021
On The Floor EP
Max’s latest release under his own name, On the Floor EP, reveals a different side of the charging songwriting found under the Max and the Martians moniker. This collection gathers three b-sides from the All the Same sessions alongside an unreleased demo, all of which showcase the rambling, bare-bones feel of the Martian’s live sound. The first, unreleased track, “It’s Only You,” is what Max calls “a nod to old swamp pop,” an old school mix of early rock and roll and traditional Cajun music. “Death Dance (Alternate)” infuses the same frantic energy into a peppier version of the album cut, while “Please Hold On (Solo)” strips that song of everything but raw nerves. Closing with “Wrong Time,” a full band number about loneliness in the city, On the Floor offers something for fans of the Martians and new listeners alike: heartfelt, joyous, and daring rock and roll.
Release Date: Dec. 3, 2021
Purchase from Bandcamp
When I Cross It Off
When I Cross it Off is an album about big things and little things - - grief, heartbreak, new love, sex, making coffee, walking dogs, and getting through your day, one task at a time. Bien Kahn approaches universal themes like processing loss and falling in love with a sense of levity that reveals an underlying wisdom: in the wake of grief, ultimately it's the embracing of the little, everyday pleasures that brings happiness back into your life. As such, this album was made more so for dancing than quiet contemplation - - with shakers, tambourines, and bongos featuring heavily alongside lap steel, organ, vocal harmonies, and the occasional horn section. Enlisting frequent collaborator Duff Thompson to co-produce alongside him, Bien Kahn employed minimal gear to create a live sound peppered with experimental tones, designed to bring some levity and rhythm into the listener's life, too.
Release Date: July 7, 2023
Purchase from Bandcamp