THEY were formed in Huddersfield – now alt folk group Maia are forging an impressive career and drawing rave reviews for their performances.
The progressive folk foursome – Tom Clegg on vocals, guitar and ukulele; Joe Haig on piano, trumpet and vocals; Simon Robinson on guitar, banjo and mandolin and percussionist Will Fletcher – decided to form a band during a night out in town and quickly went on to record their first album under the supervision of producer Choque Hosein.
Speaking to WoW last February the band spoke of how they had invented “Sci-fi folk” – something they came up with to acknowledge their futuristic approach and their passing interest in astronomy and space (Maia is a star in the Pleaides cluster).
With three years of live shows up and down the country already under their belts, and supports including the likes of Anais Mitchell, The Hut People, Jamie Smith’s Mabon, Chumbawamba as well as performing at The Unthanks end of tour party, the group are continuing to receive huge praise and a greater following for their live shows.
With a critically acclaimed appearance at the 2011 Cambridge Folk Festival, residencies at the monthly Folke Newington night at The Drop (London) and the highly regarded Magpies Nest Collective, the band were then asked to headline at The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre on New Year’s Eve.
The band have been killing festivals all summer with appearances at Larmer Tree, In The Woods, Whitby Folk Week, Braudstairs, Hop Farm and Wilderness.
Maia’s storming performance at the No Direction Home festival was seen by Ben Knox Miller who asked the band to play in support of The Low Anthem at their Bush Hall gig one week later.
Now having graduated from university the band are set to release their second album ‘Pepper Stars’ on November 26 which has already received critical acclaim.
Acoustic Magazine said, “Eclectic with surprising twists and turns...Maia are very good at executing their own brand of whimsical folk.”
TimeOut magazine said: “Youthful, spirited, richly atmospheric and intelligently off-centre alt.folk pop” while Folkworld raved: “This has enough elements of folk for genre fans but covers an awful lot of ground and is one of the more compelling listens I have had in a while.”