Queen Maud

Queen Maud are an electronica four-piece from Walton, creating ambient dream-pop, smothering listeners with a cloudy haze hovering over the anaesthetically drowsy vocals, creating a potent late-night summer feel. 

Catch them live
Thurs 26th September // KOROVA // Supporting Deaf Club 

Tues 15th October // MELLO MELLO // Supporting Fun Adults

I gave a listen to their 5-track album 'PAINS' and considering the style of music typically isn't my cup of tea, I found myself in a trance listening to their finished piece. Introducing the album is their track, 'High Pressure', using a repetitive cheeky retro-ness with the game-style beginning and smoothly light sounds, (very much reminding me of Peace). The drone of the vocals slur about the track, giving a wave like feel coming up and down with the track, using the name 'High Pressure' almost as a definition to the whole feel and aura circulating the outer chimera. The elongated anthem most definitely has a story to tell and with each listen, the plot thickens and the fable turns, almost gliding in a smoke infested room full of stoners and popular socialites almost brain dead from the nights activities. Crazy as it sounds, it's true, but works like a dream. Making 'High Pressure' a creation of high powered intelligence.

'Broken' is a track which mixes this all up, it's heavy blues indication makes heads slowly rock and sway with the music. In this track, vocals feature more heavily than the instrumentally inclined 'High Pressure' and the music presence is much more real, we start to see a formation happening from the dream beginnings, almost like an awakening. This gradual development soothes the listener, falling into a chill-out motive indefinitely captivating their audience into falling into a spiral of music admiration, if you haven't been turned on by now, you probably never will. 

PAINS is an album that I could replay all day long, opening up your ears to a sound so likeable you're envious. Almost anyone could get to grips with their laid-back style. Queen Maud have most definitely proved themselves as musicians to look out for,  music isn't how it used to be, we're going to change it and these guys are slowly using this to their advantage. Watch this space, you'll hear them very soon. I grabbed a quick interview with the quartet to find out more behind the facade. 
How did Queen Maud all come about?

We've all had a close-knit of friends for the last couple of years or so, especially throughout sixth form. We've each been in various Bands and grew up listening to each others material. After our former Bands demised we decided to have a few meetings and practices together with this project in mind. We each had an idea of where we wanted to go musically, we knew of each others strengths and knew what role we each had to play. It all took shape fairly effortlessly as our musical interests were similar. The only thing we could do was to experiment with our sound for a few months, gradually building on what we had and formulating this new sound. The ambient/dream-pop texture behind Queen Maud materialised in this period of time and gave us a solid foundation for our debut release 'PAINS'. We're very particular in where we want to go with Queen Maud and know exactly what we want to achieve which is why I think releasing 'PAINS' so soon was essential for our development.

When did the current line up get together?

The current four piece line up was formed in November 2012.

How did you all get into music?

All four of us (luckily) have been brought up and surrounded by musical environments from an early age. Some of our parents were in bands when they were younger, so as early as we can all remember music was a prominent fixture in our lives.

Collectively, have your influences featured heavily within your music?

Not particularly, definitely not heavily. We hold a select few bands and artists in high regard due to their contribution towards music... certain aspects of our admiration rub off, ever so slightly. There's definite hints of our own individual influences within 'PAINS', that's unavoidable. We each bring different viewpoints and attributes to our sound, the funky rhythm sections and drawn out drones must have came from somewhere. But, collectively as a unit we tend to get our influences internally from the other members. We definitely rely heavily on each other musically and that's what makes us Queen Maud.

Do you think there's a bigger scene now for musicians to have a greater liberation with their music?

The scene is definitely more attainable, yes. The 'baby boom' of local, easy accessible music blogs within recent years is fantastic for music and definitely gives a wider variety of bands the opportunity to do so. If the band applies itself in the correct manor liberation is achievable.

What's the best outlet to get your music heard? 

Playing live shows is the obvious, and the most fun. Promoting it endlessly and applying yourself towards the event is all you can achieve at this grassroots level, finding the ideal demographics of an audience is difficult to judge, but hopefully it'll come naturally and in time. Internet based outlets... personally we love Bandcamp. We find a lot of the other social networking sites useless but Bandcamp is perfect for us.

When do you know if a track sounds good?

During the initial jam of a new song we'll spend around one hour experimenting with what we've got, if nothing accumulates after this time and the progression of a track doesn't flow naturally we'll move on to something different. Within this period of time if nothing has moulded itself into the soundscape you're looking for it then becomes forced, we want everything to be natural. The perfect track is when we lay down an enticing drum beat on the Akai drum machine and instantly feel the rhythm and know the progression of the song. We sometimes offer a nod of recognition at each other whilst we're playing, we then know we've found what we want to produce. You almost instantly foresee what the composition will generate and that's when you know it'll be featured on a record.

What makes music important to you? 

The emotional aspect of music and its artistic values, 100%. The emotional expression sometimes goes without acknowledgement both lyrically and musically. A great lyricist can really hone in on your emotions. It really gives you something to relate to, we love listening to music dependent to what mood we're in, besides, without emotional and artistic expression live shows would become awfully dull and boring. Artistic values are important. The amount of work that goes into writing an EP or Album definitely goes unnoticed as most people are only interested in owning an album to benefit their social stature between themselves and their friends. Everybody knows somebody who buys an album solely to immerse themselves in a current trend or scene and from our viewpoint this completely devalues what music stands for.

Has there ever been a set plan as to what you would like to achieve with music?

Yes, definitely. We know where we want to be in two/three years, anybody who tells you otherwise is either lying or wasting their time. None of us want to be working boring jobs, who does? We want to make it to the level where music is our career, we can't imagine doing anything else.

Is there anything special coming up for Queen Maud in the next year we can hear of?

Yes, a busy year is in store. A second EP release entitled 'BODIES', and a studio album at some point in 2014. You'll also be seeing a lot more of us as we'll be performing as much as humanly possible around both Liverpool and Manchester. All of our commitments to University will be over by next summer so maybe a little UK tour...

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