Maia – Pepper Stars
Pepper Stars is the second effort from the eccentric four-piece Maia. It’s a record which effortlessly juxtaposes chopped up electronics and eclectic instrument choice to create 14 strange pleasures. A progressive fusion of folk and pop, Pepper Stars denies any formal genre boundaries and is undoubtedly infectious and addictive.
Opening track Alien bridges the gap between mainstream and ethereal with its gorgeous delivery, but the casual listener may have to work hard elsewhere. It morphs from a delicate ballad into a blissful climax, and it’s hard not to be awed. Grimes may rule the weird pop-roost for now, but in Pepper Stars, Maia hold some fierce competition.
The title track pulsates with surrealism. The acoustic nature of the song gives it a folk flavour, yet it sounds futuristic and offers things that acoustic music often doesn’t. Icy percussion and breathy orchestration grace this exquisitely scored song, making it an intergalactic whirlwind.
Pepper Stars is fresh and carries the trademark that Maia continue to live up. Slow burning track The Grandfather Plan forms a hypnotic centre-piece and the vocals are a sumptuous garnish to the psychedelia.
This effort shows that Maia have grown in more ways than one. Pepper Stars is raw, mismatched and joyous. The album is at its best when the band allows noise and melody to make a mess, yet all the fuzz does little to hide the fact there are some great melodies and choruses here. This album leaves you feeling as if you’ve unearthed a real treasure.
Pepper Stars is released on 26th.November 2012. For further information visit Maia’s Twitter page here.
Watch the video for Living In The Alligator here: