Galway singer-songwriter Maija Sofia’s ‘Persephone’ is the musician’s best single song yet. Dispensing (or rather graduating) with lo-fi recording techniques, ‘Persephone’ was produced and recorded by North London electronic artist Gazel.
‘Persephone’ is an intimate folk pop song that Sofia says is a song “of despair, an ethereal retelling of the Greek tale of a kidnapped goddess trapped in the mythical underworld, layered with echoes of the modern-world’s political chaos. With samples from Sylvia Plath, the song is an ode to the many talented women throughout history who have been oppressed and overshadowed at the hands of an abuser.”
Sofia is on a short tour in London this week with Irish dates later this month and in March.
15/2 – The Water Rats, Kings Cross, London
16/2 – The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington, London (with Gazel)
17/2 – The Comrade Club, Manor House, London
23/2 – The Crow Club, Crow Bar, Dublin
15/3 – The Roisín Dubh, Galway
The Galway-born Dublin-based singer songwriter Maija Sofia has released some fine gossamer lo-fi songs in the last year.
Sofia released an EP, called The Sugar Sea in late 2015 and she’s got a new video for the opening track ‘Stains’, which she says “deals with the universal feelings of inadequacy and insecurity that come with being in a dysfunctional relationship”.
The video, made on Sandymount beach, was directed by Sofia and filmed and edited by Ciarán O’Brien (The OB blog, resident camera man at The Ruby Sessions ).
Maija Sofia play an intimate acoustic set with Maria Kelly and poet Lewis Kenny at Bang Bang in Phibsboro on August 18th, or in The Slaughtered Lamb in London on 8 September.
Today, here’s another reason, a track called ‘The Girl Who Pulled The Sun Down’ which flaunts a lo-fi singer-songwriter folk style that draws comparison to one of my favourite Irish acts vocally – Nina Hynes.
‘The Girl Who Pulled The Sun Down’ is from a forthcoming EP called Tales from the Sugar Sea to be released on Little Witch records. to be launched on November 13th in London where Sofia is based most of the time. It was recorded by ex-drummer of Milk White White Teeth, James Hare, in Mowlem Street Studio in Bethnal Green.
Maija Sofia plays The Grand Social at 8pm on Saturday 3rd of October as part of Hard Working Class Heroes.
This year’s Hard Working Class Heroes lineup of new bands is a tough one. Primarily because there are so many new bands to see for the first time and secondly, because the quality of those unseen is greater than in previous years. This year, the tracks on the Breaking Tunes profiles are well-produced and suggest that there are more bands and artists more clued in to How Music Works than ever.
Here are 20 new bands to see this weekend, I capped it at 6 bands per day. Some of last year’s picks are also playing the festival for further investigation so they weren’t featured here (Rusangano Family / Dear Desert / Buffalo Woman and more).
It was only last year at the festival where Hare Squead really became known at their Meeting House Square gig. Since then, the Dublin trio have been expanding their sound of rap, R&B, soul and pop music with a full live band show that’s really starting to hit home and gel. With a couple of years more experience, these guys could be huge. On a similiar style-tip, Stay Gold in the same venue are a band following a similar path.
A new Kildare duo, David “Monty” Montgomery and Conor Cuffe only formed less than a year ago but with a tropical dance track called Waiting hanging around, they are doing something decidedly more pop than a lot on this list and are worthy of further investigation.
With over 90,000 plays on Spotify for just two songs, the Cork-born, Liverpool-based singer-songwriter has the metrics on his side. It’s the songs that matter though and his most recent single ‘Take It In’ impresses with its production by Scandinavian duo Boxes that takes a singer-songwriter style in a more atmospheric direction.
Celtic-influenced harmony folk world or “atmosfolk” as Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre call it. Their debut EP is released next month and the music so far has had a pleasing ethereality to it with harmonies to the fore alongside harp tones.
The kind of sophisticated pop music that Maud In Cahoots make has a lot in common with Scandinavian pop music, The sisters Maud and Zoe Ní Riordáin and band have also showed some interesting initiative by placing their songs in a theatrical show context. The new single ‘Cure For The Crazy’ is their career best track.