We are so happy to finally be able to introduce you to the duo from The Netherlands Maida Rose. We first discovered the track few months ago and it was love at first sight. You already know that we have a thing for introducing artists and their debut songs.
Maida Rose are two friends Javièr’s & Roos who go way back (more about that below). We will be sharing our opinion about the track tomorrow as it will be featured on our New Music Sunday playlist. And today we want to introduce you to hauntingly beautiful Maida Rose.
Congratulations on your debut release! Tell us about your journey until the moment you released ‘Harmony of Heartache’.
Thank you! It’s been quite a journey. We started this band more than five years ago and came up with the idea to focus our debut album on our experiences of our final years of adolescence. We have written the whole collection of songs in the attic of Javièr’s childhood home, where we talked about our experiences of growing up, and turned it into music. Our initial idea was to start performing live in the summer of 2020, but due to COVID we have had to postpone this and we decided to fully focus on recording the album. We’ve recorded everything at home during COVID times, and are almost done. In the meantime, we wanted to introduce ourselves to the world, so we decided to start releasing singles in 2021. ‘Harmony of Heartache’ is the first of this series.
The song talks about the experience of having a loved one go through depression. Was it written during the lockdown?
‘Harmony of Heartache’ was actually one of the first songs we ever wrote and that must have been four or five years ago. In a way, it’s quite strange to release a ‘new’ song to the world, which already feels so old to us, but it still really resonates. And we do believe that it is the perfect song to release in lockdown. We hope to brighten the dark days for some people with this one.
What would you say to someone who is struggling with depression? Do you have any tips or advice?
There are many shades and forms of depression, and I (Roos) think every single one of them deserves to be taken seriously. Seeking help from a professional will be the most important step I think. That can feel super overwhelming, but I think that it’s the way forward. What we tried to do with this song is acknowledging the depression, which I think is the most important tip that I can give for the family and friends of someone who’s struggling.
What made you decide to have ‘Harmony of Heartache’. as your very first single to introduce you to the world.
We didn’t really discuss it: we both intuitively felt that this had to be the first. Probably because it’s a nice introduction to our vibe, but it doesn’t give away too much yet. It is the song where you can most hear the inspiration that we take from Beach House, and the next couple of singles will establish more of our own unique songwriting and sound. Apart from that, for Roos, songs always fit to a certain season: ‘Harmony of Heartache’ fits very well to the long, dark winter nights. And now that the world is in lockdown, it fits even better. We can imagine that a lot of people are feeling low currently and this song is meant for each and every one of them.
‘Harmony of Heartache’ fits very well to the long, dark winter nights.MAIDA ROSE
2020 has been extremely challenging for the creative industry. What kept you sane?
We have been channeling all of our energy into recording our debut album. As we mentioned, we have recorded everything at home and the album is produced by our band member Anne Lieke Heusinkveld, and mixed together with a dear friend of ours, Jesse Koch. We have spent many days and evenings in his home studio mixing the tracks and have furthermore focused on everything that is involved with releasing an album. Besides the creative part, spending time together has been keeping us sane. It’s a blessing that we live so near to each other. Another blessing that has been a great outlet in this challenging time is that we live very close to the beach. Whatever kind of day you’ve had, a walk on the beach can turn it into a lovely one!
Your friendship seems to go way back. Do you remember the moment you decided to do music together?
We definitely go way back. We actually started making music together and became friends through that. We were in a band together before Maida Rose, around eight years ago and, although the music was very different from what we make today, we clicked immediately. In that phase we were making loud alternative rock music, inspired by bands like The Dead Weather and Queens of the Stone Age. We really enjoyed this but after a couple of years we both felt like it was time for another chapter.
‘Harmony of Heartache’ serves as a teaser to the album ‘Tales of Adolescence’ that you are planning to release in 2022. Tell us what can we expect from the album sound wise?
The album tells experiences from a period of five years. We’ve translated the different extremes of emotions that teenagers can experience in a variety of songs. A common thread is the dreaminess and the sonic landscape that allows you to disappear in our world for about 45 minutes. You will definitely hear influences from Beach House and Cigarettes After Sex but we stand out against these inspirations with our unique style of songwriting and the journey that melodies and harmonies take in our music.
You’ve been writing music for years, what was the trigger to launch your music career in 2021?
Originally, we planned on starting in 2020, but we wanted to wait for a few months to see how COVID developed. Although it is not possible to play live at the moment, and it is quite a challenging time to start a music career, it felt like our time really had come.
We have been working behind the scenes for so long and sometimes you can just feel when it is time for something to blossom.MAIDA ROSE
If we were to wait until COVID has ‘died out’, it would feel like we are wasting time. We are completely new to the outside world, so it feels like a perfect time to introduce us to the world and hopefully we can start playing live and taking it further later this year, or once the album is released.
How did the two of you meet?
We are both from The Hague, and in this city everyone who makes music knows (of) each other. So I (Roos) think we perhaps already met before, but my first memory of meeting Javièr was in a well-known music café in our home town, when we were around 15/16 years old. We had a chat about bands that we liked and quickly realised that we had a very similar taste. This was the beginning of the musical partnership that we hope to continue for a very long time.
Tell us about your creative process. How do you make decisions as a duo?
The process depends a bit on the song, but mostly I (Roos) start writing at home. Then we plan a writing weekend at Javièr’s attic, where I bring all the ideas that I have; ranging from a voice memo of a vocal melody sang on the bike to full demos. We then listen to everything and pick the idea that we feel like working on. From then on it mostly goes quite fluidly. Thus far we have never had to fight about decisions:
If one of us suggests something, the other always considers it and in the end the music speaks for itself.MAIDA ROSE
Once we have a full song we record the whole thing and turn it into a demo. At that time, I’m mostly singing gibberish. I prefer not thinking of lyrics until the final stage, so I can go wherever I want with my melodies and I don’t have to consider if the lyric fits. This doesn’t mean that I don’t care about lyrics, it’s quite the opposite: lyrics are very important to me. I guess it’s because melodies come very quickly and naturally to me, and with lyrics I like to take my time.
What goal would you want to achieve with your music?
For us, making this music is like therapy. It feels like a very natural way of expressing ourselves and getting through situations. It would be lovely if it can have this effect on our audience as well. We can’t wait to start performing live because this is the setting where you can really disappear in our musical world.
How would you define success in the music business?
That’s an interesting question. We know that success is often something measured ‘from the outside’, but we like to think of it from within. Writing and recording our debut album for example, feels like a huge success to us, although no one has heard it yet. It was such a special journey to do everything ourselves from start to end. We didn’t go to a fancy studio, we didn’t hire a fancy producer; we made the album with friends, at home and we’re very proud of the end result. Of course, we hope that many people will hear the album and that they will enjoy it, but to us it is already a success.
What you got planned for 2021?
We will be releasing a lot of singles to warm you all up for the release of our debut album in 2022! Furthermore, we are planning on recording a live video (and hopefully start to perform live!) and further establishing our artistic identity. We like creating a world around our music and all the aesthetics and visuals need to fit with this. Furthermore, we will be preparing for our album release and hopefully we will make it to London again; our favourite city to be (apart from our hometown).
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