Discover Maïa Davies’ richly dark indie-folk ballad.
Maïa Davies – ‘Stockholm’
What do you associate with Stockholm? A Scandinavian utopia, filled with herring and ABBA? If you’re me, it’s ABBA. But the more psychologically inclined among you may think about Stockholm Syndrome, the controversial psychological phenomenon. It’s more down this path that Maïa Davies ‘Stockholm’ treads, as it deals with the fallout from abusive relationships – a dark ride but a compelling one.
Maïa Davies is a bilingual producer, songwriter and artist from Montreal, Canada. Having written for others and herself, she’s built up an impressive catalogue of radio hits, nominations and albums – but lately has stepped into new territory with her first English-language solo album, from which this single is taken.
‘Stockholm’ is a lushly melancholy indie-folk ballad, well-crafted with emotional depth.
Davies depicts the aftermath of bad relationships with intense lyrics – ‘you’ve got a power, you’ve got invisible chains’ – and the exhilaratingly terrible freedom that comes with a breakup – ‘nothing left to lose, on a highway driving fast’. The ethereal melodies complement the heavier lyrics, with the chorus line ‘I can’t get safe’ being particularly hooky, and Davies’ vocals are incredibly assured, husky and heartbreaking.
The production centres around heavy piano chords and varied use of strings, from tense tremolo to sweet folky lines to sawing bass notes. There’s a pleasing buildup throughout the track that keeps the ear. There’s also a beautifully directed music video from director Lisa Mann, featuring ghostly imagery and Vermeer-esque composition. Fans of indie songstresses can add this to their favourites.
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Words Eden Tredwell