Back in August, the Maine officially put away their gold suits and said goodbye to the You Are OK era forever during their Flowers On The Grave livestream. Now, nearly seven months later, they are kicking off their next era with a colorful new video for “Sticky.”
As their first piece of new music in nearly two years, “Sticky” offers an early preview of the Maine’s forthcoming eighth studio album XOXO: From Love And Anxiety In Real Time which arrives July 9.
“Sticky” truly has all of the makings to become a forever fan-favorite within the Maine’s fanbase. Led by frontman John O’Callaghan’s signature raspy vocals, the new single’s pop-inspired melodies, punchy guitars and snappy lyrics are elements fans will instantly gravitate toward. As well, “Sticky” presents a lighter side to the band’s music with lyrics that revolve around a relationship that’s so captivating, you never want it to disappear.
As O’Callaghan exclusively told Alternative Press, “Sticky” marked the very beginning of the recording process for their new album. Although he wants to leave the song’s meaning up for interpretation, he notes that “Sticky” is about someone of particular importance to him. Last fall, O’Callaghan married his now-wife Megan in his home state of Arizona.
“I can finally say less when it comes to our new song ‘Sticky’ because it’s yours to listen to,” O’Callaghan tells Alternative Press. “This song was the first song recorded for XOXO: From Love And Anxiety In Real Time (sorry for the long album title), so it’s only fitting that it’s heard first. Everything was poured into this tune. In a year full of uncertainty I found one common theme—love overwhelmed my heart. This song is only a sliver of what I feel for the woman I wrote it about. Dig it. XOXO, John.”
In the single’s video, the Maine find themselves in some rather sticky situations. Directed by Angela Kohler, the colorful visual shows each band member trying to get themselves out of peculiar situations with commonly sticky objects such as honey, glue, lollipops, rubber bands and tape. The visual soon comes to a close as the band look on while covered in hundreds of little white feathers.
The “Sticky” video is available to watch below and the single can be streamed here.
For O’Callaghan, XOXO: From Love And Anxiety In Real Time is a result of the contrasting feelings he has felt over this past year. Ultimately, he believes this new album brings out the greatest parts of the Maine. Between the relatable narratives and pop-inspired hooks, O’Callaghan hopes fans are able to find solace in their new music just as they’ve done with their past seven albums.
“This album is quite literally a real-time dive into the duality of love and anxiety in my life,” O’Callaghan says in a press release. “They are such opposing feelings, but they coexist all the time in my head. Life is a funny thing, but I believe everything is exactly as it should be. For my two cents, XOXO is all of the best parts of The Maine. Just the right amount of ambition and nostalgia. It can be an easy listen or a hard look into the mirror. I hope it’s whatever you need it to be.”
This Saturday, the Maine are hosting a free worldwide livestream event to introduce the XOXO: From Love And Anxiety In Real Time era. For the virtual concert, the Maine will be performing “Sticky” and a few other unreleased tracks live for the very first time. As well, fans can expect the setlist to include old favorites off of their past releases. The virtual concert kicks off at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET and will be available to stream at XOXO.live.
More on the Maine
Back in June, O’Callaghan confirmed the Maine were well into the writing process for XOXO: From Love And Anxiety In Real Time. On Instagram, the vocalist revealed that they already had 10 new songs written for the album so far.
“You thought we were sleeping during this plague? LOL fuck no. As I type this, we have 10 bangers on deck ready to fuck this social distance in the head. V soon,” he said on Instagram.
Shortly after this, in August, O’Callaghan opened up exclusively to Alternative Press about the Maine’s next release. For their new material, the Maine didn’t want to stray too far away from their classic pop sound. However, O’Callaghan did find a fresh perspective while writing XOXO: From Love And Anxiety In Real Time. For the first time since 2010’s Black & White, O’Callaghan collaborated on songs with people outside of the band.
“As far as this record goes, I don’t want to compare it to any of our records,” O’Callaghan told Alternative Press in August. “I will say I didn’t want to shy away from the pop aspect of our band [and] I ended up writing some songs with people outside of the band. I feel like [it] gave me the opportunity to gain a new perspective. I’ve been so reluctant to co-write since our second record Black & White because I had such a bad taste in my mouth from the experience. But I was completely open to it and I think it helps.”
He went on to say that a handful of songs he co-wrote have ended up on the album. Despite his reluctance to collaborate outside of the band, O’Callagahn thinks the co-writes helped take the Maine’s sound in a new direction.
“I think there are four songs that I co-wrote with on the record,” he told Alternative Press. “I personally feel like it really helped develop a new sound for us. It’s really interesting trying to think in your head like, ‘What can we do to reinvent ourselves on our eighth record?’ We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. So I think I lean more into the pop element.”
Although it’s been nearly two years since the Maine released You Are OK, they’ve still put out plenty of new music. In August 2019, they released their Live At The Orpheum Theatre EP. For the recording, the Maine took over the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona and performed songs off of You Are OK and 2015’s American Candy. As well, they also played a stripped-down piano cover of Halsey’s “Without Me.” More recently, last year, the Maine debuted a cover of Harry Styles’ Grammy–winning single “Watermelon Sugar.”
Along with all of this, O’Callaghan also revived his solo project John The Ghost this past year. Nearly five years ago, O’Callaghan branched out and put out his debut single “Sour Grapes.” Soon after, his first solo EP Sincerely, John The Ghost was released in April 2016. Following its debut, however, the project was seemingly put on hold.
Then, in April, John The Ghost returned with the groovy single “Rolled Down Window” before putting out his debut solo album I Only Want To Live One in February. The nine-track LP includes “DRIVE,” “LIVE ONCE” and “HERE/GONE,” his collab with DE’WAYNE among others. At first, O’Callaghan had no intention of releasing a new John The Ghost album. However, he soon found himself writing enough new music for a debut full-length LP.
“What started out as a single song turned into 3 [then it] turned into 7 which all turned into my debut 9 song album,” O’Callaghan said in a press release. “A friend of mine interpreted the title I Only Want To Live Once as a negative when in reality I meant for it to highlight my lust for life. Live today because you live once.”
I Only Want To Live Once is available to stream below.
As it stands, the Maine are set to hit the road this summer for the Sad Summer Fest which kicks off on July 9 in Orlando, Florida. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 North American tour was postponed. Along with the Maine, All Time Low, The Story So Far, Movements, Grayscale, Yours Truly and Destroy Boys are part of this year’s Sad Summer Fest lineup.
More information regarding the tour is available here and the full list of dates is below.
Sad Summer Fest 2021 Tour Dates:
07/09/2021 – Orlando, FL @ The Orlando Amphitheater
07/10/2021 – Atlanta, GA @ Steve Polk Plaza At The Masquerade
07/13/2021 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live! Outdoor
07/14/2021 – Toronto, ON @ RBC Echo Beach
07/16/2021 – Baltimore, MD @ MECU Pavillion
07/17/2021 – Philadelphia, PA @ Skyline Stage @ the Mann
07/21/2021 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE Outdoors
07/23/2021 – New York, NY @ The Rooftop at Pier 17
07/24/2021 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium Outdoors
07/25/2021 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony Summer Stage
07/30/2021 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Festival Grounds
07/31/2021 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
08/06/2021 – Sacramento, CA @ Papa Murphy’s Park At Cal Expo
08/07/2021 – Anaheim, CA @ City National Grove Outdoors
What are your reactions to the Maine’s “Sticky” video? Let us know in the comments below.