Brooklyn’s Maia Friedman is delighted to announce her debut solo album, Under The New Light, out on Last Gang Records, 11th March 2022. After the critical acclaim of the first single “Where The Rocks Are” Maia has just released the second single “First To Love,” a mellifluous tune about the emotional wonders of being human. Maia explains:
It is a humbling privilege to love someone in all their humanness and imperfection, to not only support but celebrate them through their journey of growth and exploration, to be by their side as they evolve into new versions of themselves. “Peel away / Keeping me up through the night // Escape / Be whatever you like” translates to: I will love even the deepest layers of who and what you are. A question I pose to myself is, what if this person were me?
Exclusive vinyl versions of Under The New Light are available for pre-order, more info below:
- Sky Blue variant can be found here.
- Rough Trade exclusive Orange Translucent variant can be found here.
As an ode to the shifting landscape of our own lives, Friedman began Under the New Light four years ago, while teaching music and performing in multiple New York bands. “Collaborating gives me the juice,” she says, laughing. In 2018 Friedman was asked to join Dirty Projectors and a heavy schedule of touring followed. She sang and co-wrote the lyrics for the first of their 5 EPs, released last year, most notably for the soothing earworm “Overlord.” Meanwhile, Friedman also formed Coco, which began as a collaborative recording project with Oliver Hill (Dustrider, Pavo Pavo) and Dan Molad (Lucius, Chimney) and they released music anonymously until the announce of their 2021 self-titled debut.
Friedman’s voice lends a unique quality of warm comfort that permeates all her collaborations, but Under the New Light presents her full intention. Her role is that of the wounded healer, one who has gained wisdom through darkness and grief. In her empathetic role, rather than share the details of any struggling, Friedman instead sought to build a cloud of safety for those who might have pain of their own. It’s an antidote to suffering rather than its depiction. The closest she comes to stark personal detail is on standout “Sunny Room”: “To be in a place that knows your mold / The tighter your hand the less you hold / You’re looking for a way to ease your mind / So you won’t make a mess of your good time.”
As with her other projects, Friedman collaborated closely on Under The New Light as a trio with Tom Deis (Pineapple Room Studio) and Peter Lalish, with Dan Molad in a production role. They worked on the album sporadically across the country, in Omaha, New York, and Los Angeles. Friedman had melodies but left it open, with the trio co-writing the swirling harmonies together. The arrangements are less sparse than they feel and even when Friedman’s voice is accompanied by a single guitar, there are swirls of ambience and synthesized sound design building around her.
The album plays like a fulfilled journey, and though Friedman is still somewhere in the middle of her own, on Under the New Light her vision is fully formed. On the bright closer “A Sleep in the Garden,” she nods, for better or worse, toward the future: “I won’t look away / when you show me more.”
- Where The Rocks Are
- First To Love
- Under The New Light
- Elevate Us
- Sunny Room
- Raintime For Yohei
- All We Are (How To Last)
- A Sleep In The Garden