A love note to Melbourne soul: Looking back at Mayfield’s Victim of Circumstance

Melbourne soul outfit Mayfield have been hard at work creating their debut album Victim of Circumstance, and boy is it good.

This 12-track body of work was produced by Mayfield’s drummer Ivan Choi Khatchoyan (Cooking on 3 Burners), and it is everything your emotional heart desires – those big band sounds, a big diva voice and a through line.

Frontwoman Carla Troiano has certainly made her mark with this record, and created a legacy that she and her band can be very proud of. This is only the beginning of what will no doubt be the uprising of one of Melbourne’s hottest underground soul bands.

Being a victim of circumstance, as the title alludes to, can often be a debilitating and fear-filled position, but what Mayfield have brought through in this work is a strength and empowerment to overcome those things or people that hold you back.

Each song bears its own meaning, and draws from the experiences of every single person in the band. The track list is one of collaboration and familiarity for the listener, especially with hits like “Hustler”, “Mr. Right Now”, “My Man”, “You Can’t Love Me” and “My Apartment”.

While the bulk of this debut work has the essence of R&B-soul, there are glimmers of rock-psychedelia that really shine, like on “Fuck You and Your Happiness”. On the other hand, the tender caresses of “Weapon Down” and “Too Late” are late-night jams that will have you sizzling all night long.

I’ve been fortunate to see this band live and I gotta tell you, they are explosive. When you listen to music in a live setting it takes on whole new meaning, and that’s exactly what this record will do to you. Mayfield just slayed the St Kilda Festival New Music Stage, further establishing themselves as musicians who stay true to their craft.

Melbourne’s music scene is far from lack lustre, but this album is a dance floor starter so get your dancing shoes on people. You’ll work up a sweat with this one.

Review Score: 8.0 out of 10.

Victim of Circumstance is out now.