“Right now, I feel like I’m going through a lot of the same emotions that I went through while making the record,” says Ed Maverick on the eve of the release of his debut full-length album, eduardo. “Going through the cycle, learning from it, going through [it] again, and learning more about life.”
The 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Delicias, Chihuahua has gone through a lot since entering the Mexican music scene in 2019. Fans took to heart his emotion-filled lyrics and unadorned yet melodic vocals, and Maverick accumulated more than 300 million plays for “Fuentes de Ortíz,” with other songs not far from there. Maverick was on the rise, and 2020 would have consolidated him to a new level, having been invited to contribute to C. Tangana’s epic El Madrileño and booking performances at festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza Chicago before the COVID-19 pandemic broke. Behind closed doors, the singer, born Eduardo Hernández Saucedo, was going through an existential crisis triggered by growing up in public.
eduardo is ambitious… it retains emotional heft yet is easy to listen to.
Moving to sprawling Mexico City from the relative quiet of Delicias, Maverick found it difficult to write songs until he came up with “gente,.” Before long, the bulk of the songs that make up eduardo came to him shortly in 2019, taking the form of a story divided in two halves. His compositions became more adventurous inspired by latest efforts by Mac DeMarco and Arctic Monkeys as well as classics by Spinetta, Gustavo Cerati, and Frank Ocean. It resulted in two song cycles joined by an emotionally intense interlude. eduardo is an album that’s ambitious and sprawling; it retains emotional heft yet is easy to listen to.
Here’s Maverick’s track by track breakdown of his most personal work to date:
“Hola, ¿cómo estás?,”
The album opens with a greeting as a nod to Daniel Johnston, may he rest in peace. It’s like if someone’s inviting you to go on an adventure, to do something cool and different from what you’re used to doing. It’s the beginning of a conversation between two persons although at this point we only hear one side.
In order to get all the songs to flow from one another I had to make changes so they fit together. On “Hola, ¿cómo estás?,” I had to sing it half a note down so it would go along with the next song.
It describes the trip promised in “Hola, ¿cómo estás?,” but in the end it changes moods drastically when I get to the “no te vayas” refrain. It’s the other side of the conversation from the first track. At the time, I was seeing someone from Ensenada and we would hang out in Tijuana—which is my second favorite city in Mexico after Delicias—and it was really a great time. But then I had to keep touring and [the relationship] ended. It’s a beautiful feeling and then—puff—it’s over.”
“mantra I,” was written as a way to connect “ensenada,” with “mantra II,” because the chords are different. “Mantra I,” features the first person of the conversation not wanting to confront their behaviour and how it affects them, while “mantra II,” is about the second person finding words limiting, they say “sólo te quiero a ti” but everything’s not clear, you know? Both sides of the conversation are too stubborn to look to each other’s eyes. There’s no resolution but there’s a little repentment in there as well.
This song is a retrospective of what happened in the previous songs and deals with the regret caused by it, but it’s also about frustration, like me saying: “What’s the problem? What should I do? What the fuck should I do with my life?!”
I didn’t want to end the cycle in frustration with “contenta,” so I wrote “,atnetnoc” as some kind of resolution to the first half of the album. It’s not a proper ending but there’s closure. It ponders how you’ll have to face similar situations again but this time you’ll have learned from past mistakes. It’s like that “Burning Man” episode of Malcolm In The Middle, like going through a rebirth of sorts.
“¿POR QUÉ LLORAS? – (interludio)”
Me and Wet Baes have a close relationship, we’re great friends. He has shown me most of what I know about production. This is the last song I did for the album and it was something I knew I had to do to bring the whole album together. We got together—me on guitar, Andrés with a few synths, and we turned off all the lights in the studio. There’s me crying in the background and at first I was pretending but during the last take, I thought about everything I was talking about on the album, all that I went through when I wrote the songs… and I couldn’t help myself. I broke down in tears for real.
It’s about how we think of ourselves as different from everyone else yet we can’t help but fall into some sort of sameness, so are we really trying to be different? I think sometimes our willingness to present ourselves as different is unnecessarily aggressive. I know that it’s something that people my age go through when we’re looking for our identity but often it’s just a facade to try to manipulate your mind this way.
The whole album was written in CDMX except the part that goes “cuanto quisiera que esto deje de pasar…” which I wrote in Delicias. This song comes from one point in my life where I felt the weakest. Muelas de Gallo—along with Daniel Quien later on in the album—represent people who are not just my friends, but my fellow journeymen in this life. I feel grateful that I have these people who listen to me and help remind me of things I already know about life. When I showed the song to Muelas, he wrote from the point of view of an older brother-type figure to tell me about his perspective about life. Good things happen as well as bad things and vice versa.
“Todo pasa y no pasa nada” is a phrase I have heard a lot in Delicias, like older people usually say it. But I thought about how it can also be a metaphor of when you’re having so many thoughts inside your head but when you look back, you realize that not a lot was happening in reality; it’s just a lot of noise; also it can represent feeling in limbo—not good or bad, but a rather dull feeling. I think it furthers what I explore in “niño,.” This is one of my favorite songs on the album.
This is about having perspective and knowing that I shouldn’t take everybody’s advice about my life, not even my father who once gave me the dumbest piece of advice I have heard. The song is kind of a lament; telling people not to feel sad if I’m gone tomorrow because today I feel like I’ve been abandoned by everyone. There was another song that was also a goodbye song but I decided to cut it from the tracklist because it was too intense. I can’t make music out of every little thing that happens to me because that makes me feel too vulnerable.
“nos queda mucho dolor por recorrer.”
Daniel Quien wrote it about what I was going through. It represents the goals that we have to set to keep on living because life itself lacks direction. There’s that line, “yo solo quería ser uno de Los Plebes Del Rancho.” For me, it reminded me why I wanted to pursue music and I just wanted to write songs and to express something and that led me somewhere I didn’t expect to go. Besides, I love that it’s a reference to Arctic Monkeys, about wanting to be one of The Strokes. I feel like “nos queda…” is kinda like the ending of Evangelion, it’s not emotive but I understand the cycle can repeat itself again… but now I’ve learned to deal with this stuff.