The project of Elliot Mags, M.A.G.S. embodies everything unique coming out of indie-pop music today. In his recent single, “Choked out” he gives fans a glimpse into a long awaited sophomore album, bringing his instantly recognizable musicianship to the forefront.
From garage-rock to alt-pop his ability to create common ground with every type of listener drives his widely enjoyed discography; and “Choked out” is no different.
Written like a piece of poetry and read like a conversation, this single abstractly narrates the internal struggle with self-love. “Sometimes the darkest part of the human experience,” M.A.G.S. states, “is the constant battle between the truth and what our inner voice tells us.” He speaks candidly about his experience with choosing comfort over growth and how sometimes it’s easier for us to believe the lies we tell ourselves, rather than challenging our old way of thinking. It reinforces the narrative that self-love is a journey, and it’s okay to fail sometimes. The chorus rings with the powerful phrase, “I don’t want to love you anymore” representing the duality behind one part of himself ready for self- love and healing, while the other part resents the pain that process brings.
The song opens with a groovy drum pattern, joined by a crunchy guitar and distorted vocals. “Choked Out” is a fever dream in bedroom pop, brought to life by hazy effects and stacked guitar layers. It is driven by M.A.G.S. distinct tone in a syncopated cadence, while the instruments are drawn out in the verses. The vocals and guitar align with a bang in the chorus to bring emphasis to the subject matter. This song feels like driving down the highway during the verses, and then hitting speed bumps during the chorus. Perfectly jarring, it shakes up the song to keep the listener intrigued. The layers come to an apex toward the end and surround the listener with beautiful instrumentation, four-to-the-floor adlibs, and foley sounds to accompany the arrangement; which results in an infectious product that is signature to his music.
M.A.G.S. personifies all the music of the past we love, while bringing his unique vision and expert melodic ability to the present. His music continues to stand out in the crowd against a genre that is all too easy to get lost in. While his fans await his next move, they can enjoy the fun and easy-listening that makes “Choked Out” an instant success.
Support M.A.G.S. on socials and stream “Choked Out” here.
By: Ariha Vaquera