Announce debut album, Tales of Adolescence
Due 25th March 2022 via Believe
Listen to new single, ‘I Remember’
Ten years in the making, Dutch dream-pop duo Maida Rose announce their first full-length album, Tales of Adolescence, due 25th March 2022 via Believe.
Inspired by the duo’s personal experiences of heartaches and sorrows in their formative years, Tales of Adolescence shimmers with luscious instrumentation and delicate vulnerability, recalling Beach House’s In Bloom, and Cigarettes After Sex.
Now they also share new single, ‘I Remember’, a bittersweet song that’s as uplifting as it is crushing, as the narrator lies alone on their bed, silently reassuring their ex-partner of how precious their time together was.
Maida Rose brings this vast array of complex and immersive textures into the forefront of their creations. Whilst these textures sculpt the addictive passages of the consuming composition, the ethereal vocal harmonies weave with ease through the dense bed of instrumentation.
The dynamic vocal range and the rolling drum beat add this intensive flurry to the release, adding layer upon layer into the expressive soundscape, continuously developing the melodic movement. When the instrumentation comes to a fierce finale, the audience finds themselves needing to emerge once more in more from the Maida Rose world. An outfit that has this fearless combination of capturing volatility with innovative tonality.
Maida Rose say of it, “‘I Remember’ is a timeless and relatable break up song; where singer Roos describes how she values the time that she spent together with her past lover. It describes the words that you never managed to tell your lover, and that now live on in your head. A perfect melancholic moment for a cold January day.”
Roos Meijer and Javièr den Leeuw, the songwriting partners behind dream-pop duo Maida Rose, met in the Hague music scene around ten years ago, forging a sound that reflected their maturing outlooks. ‘We Both Know’, the song that would go on to become the penultimate track on new album ‘Tales of Adolescence’, came about as a dowsing rod towards a new sonic trajectory.
Initial inspirations leant more on the psychedelic side with artists like Melody’s Echo Chamber and Tame Impala in their mid-2010s ascendancies but, when Meijer started playing ‘We Both Know’ to others, she was told to check out Beach House. “I remember playing ‘In Bloom’ for the first time; I felt like I was listening to a band I’d known for all my life”, Meijer said. From this point on, the Maida Rose palate started to include even more of the dream-pop hues that had started to colour their canvas. Similarly, a couple of years later, they were turned on to Cigarettes After Sex: “it felt like we were inspired by them, but we didn’t even know them”, den Leeuw said.
From the off, Maida Rose cared first and foremost about the songs; this is why it took five years of incubation to start recording their debut album. When asked about the process of initially figuring out their sound, den Leeuw says “we couldn’t have done this at that earlier age. We needed to mature for our music to mature too”, Meijer nods and concludes, “we had to be friends for over five years to be able to make something so vulnerable together”. This vulnerability saturates ‘Tales of Adolescence’, a “sort of concept album” about the often-transitionary experiences of their formative years.
The beauty of ‘Tales of Adolescence’ is the details and surprises. ‘Murakami in His Mind’ is a masterclass in structure and delayed gratification. ‘Where Do We Go’ is a wide-open rumination on denial and direction at the end of a relationship with prosodic sections that feel more like chapters. Meijer’s distant vocal in ‘We Both Know’ reflects the out-of-body displacement of taking a final moment with a partner before both stepping into the unknown. ‘I Remember’, as uplifting as it is crushing, is then the immediate aftermath as the narrator lies alone on their bed and silently reassures their ex-partner of how precious their time together was.
‘Fallen’, written when Meijer moved to study in London in 2019, is perhaps the most lyrically intricate of the album: peppered with allusions to William Blake, the song hinges on the binary of falling in love and falling out again. ‘Wherever I Am’, a restless yearning to explore what the world has to offer, manages to traverse melodic continents while constantly finding its way back home to one of the catchiest hooks on the album.
It wasn’t just the friendship that had to go the sufficient distance to allow such a level of vulnerability, but also the writers from their subject matter. Some songwriters prefer to write when they’re still in the woods and the emotions are evolving but Meijer says she has to play a longer game: “I can’t write about something I’m experiencing at that moment. I know that I can only put that into a song once I’ve processed it.”
An exception to this rule is ‘Within’, a song about the ecstasy of unconditional love in the face of distance. Meijer started the song in the early stages of dating her girlfriend and wrote the pre-chorus in a moment of contended insight as she sat on a balcony and her girlfriend sang a song of her own. Meijer finished the song when she moved to London and the song became even more applicable as she carried her girlfriend within her in moments of distance as well as proximity.
“Since this was our debut album, we still had the luxury of taking forever to finish it; the world didn’t know us yet so wasn’t waiting for the release. It feels really special to have this collection of work, that originated and grew in our final years of adolescence and the intimate friendship we shared during this time. For us this album will be like a photo album of our past that we can look into to have a melancholic revisit of a previous life, and for the world it will hopefully be a symbol for a time in their life as well, and an introduction to the world of Maida Rose”.
1. Harmony of Heartache
2. Where Do We Go
4. Every Day Is Blue
5. Luna’s Lullaby
6. I Remember
8. Murakami In His Mind
9. Wherever I Am
10. We Both Know
11. Within II