Based out of The Hague, Maida Rose are the songwriting duo of Roos Meijer and Javièr den Leeuw. The pair first met on the city’s music scene around ten years ago and set to making music initially inspired by the psychedelic edges of Melody’s Echo Chamber and Tame Impala. Released last week via Believe, the band’s debut album, Tales of Adolescence, draws on those elements as well the dreamier tones of Beach House and Cigarettes After Sex.
Five years in the making, the band are quick to highlight their growth together, the band working out their sound alongside their growing friendship, as Roos explains, “we had to be friends for over five years to be able to make something so vulnerable together”. The record is a “sort of concept album”, themed around the often-transitionary experiences of their formative years. Tales Of Adolescence is a deliciously decadent sounding album, Roos’ vocals are honey-smooth throughout, sitting atop the rich waves of synth and perfectly unhurried drum rhythms. It’s the sort of record that is easy to take as a single atmospheric piece, yet that’s not to say it’s without highlights. Take the gorgeous Within, which sets the prominent, dreamy bass-lines of early Tame Impala and hitches them to a gorgeous lyrical music on love across an ocean, “her sound resonates in the warmth of my skin, my heart is calm”; it’s a song where you can almost hear how it built up from a furtive acoustic number into its brilliant ambitious whole. Elsewhere, the opening track Harmony Of Heartache is a beautiful scene setter, a tale of fighting off loneliness, heavy with the gentle contemplation of Bloom-era Beach House, while recent single Fallen is a poetic reflection on the false binary of thinking of love as an on/off switch, as Roos almost pleads for an answer to the age-old question, “does it get easier with time?” It might have been a long time coming, yet Tales of Adolescence feels like a document of the band’s growth, a record that marks the change from youth to young adulthood in all its messy, difficult and sometimes wonderful glory.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Maida Rose?
Maida Rose is a dreampop duo, consisting of songwriting partners and best friends Javièr den Leeuw & Roos Meijer. Live we’re a band of 6, but behind the scenes it’s just the two of us. We met about ten years ago in the Dutch seaside city where we both grew up; The Hague. Since then we’ve been best friends and making music together, which eventually turned into Maida Rose. Our debut album, Tales of Adolescence, was written over a period of five years and tells our personal experiences of growing up. We recorded the album ourselves at our homes, which was a great way to maintain the intimacy of the music.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Javièr and I both grew up in musical households, and started making music at an early age. We started playing in bands (separately) in our early teens, and performed in and around our hometown frequently. Performing still gives us such ecstasy, but during our first shows the thrill went through the roof. Being a musician was a desire we had since forever, so being on stage felt like a wonderful dream.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
That’s a good question! We both grew up surrounded by music, so it makes sense that we feel so deeply connected to it. But we’ve also been surrounded by other art forms in our childhood; Javièr’s parents are both highly accomplished art conservators, and my previous step-father was a gallery owner. To be fair, every art form has it’s own attraction to us and I am very sure that we will explore many more art forms during our career and life. The beautiful thing about having your own band is that you have the ability to dream beyond borders. Photography and film are really important layers to our musical world, and I’m sure that one day we’ll explore adding layers of different art forms as well.
FTR: What can people expect from the Maida Rose live show?
Our aim is to create a Maida Rose world. You’ll be soaked into a bath of dreamy soundscapes, groovy basslines, melancholic melodies and a moody light show. We’ll play a dynamic set, taking you by the hand and bringing you to all the corners of our mind. You’ll go home in a dreamy state, with our songs floating around in your head for days.
FTR: What’s next for Maida Rose?
On March 25 we will release our debut album ‘Tales of Adolescence’, which we’ll celebrate with a tour through the Netherlands and Belgium. After that we hope to play some lovely festivals. In the meantime, we’ve already started working on our second album. The song have been written in a French cabin last year, and we’ve just started the recording process. So there’ll be lots more to come! Our dream is to tour around Europe and one day hopefully further. But the United Kingdom is on top of our list, so we hope to see you at one of our shows soon!
They Listen To…
Cigarettes After Sex – K.
Beach House – Beyond Love
Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
Alexandra Savior – The Archer
Amason – Velodrome
Tales of Adolescence is out now via Believe. For more information on Maida Rose visit https://www.maidarose.com/.