The 2017 EP 6 Things represents Powers’ first thematically collected release. Powers describes the album as deeply personal, dealing with open relationships (“Love (How Far?)”), experiencing the feeling of death during an Ayahuasca trip (“Death (It Feels Alright)”), and experiencing disillusionment after the 2016 election (“Hope (An Echo)”).” While 6 Things continues the retro-synth infused pop thread of earlier work, it also incorporates broader influences, most notably chill-wave and psychedelic rock. It ventures shamelessly into vocal manipulation, from vocoders to octave pitching to autotuning. The dozens of voices that appear on the album are all facets of the singular Maxwell.
While Powers recorded the entire album entirely in the corner of his living room, he collaborated with two veteran Bay Area Engineers/Producers: Mikael Eldridge (Tycho, DJ Shadow) and Sean Beresford (Run DMC, Third Eye Blind). The result is a sonically rich and diverse journey that is instantly catchy, and rewards deeper listening.