The unlikelihood of getting signed as a new artist is seen as a given these days. What’s even more unusual is the prospect of submitting a record with so much impact that it drastically alters the structure of the label in question.
In 2018, Portland band MAITA sent their recently completed record, Best Wishes, to Kill Rock Stars, which at the time, was headed by Portia Sabin, wife of then-retired label founder Slim Moon. Here’s how Slim remembers hearing MAITA for the first time:
“Put simply, my love of MAITA and my belief in Maria’s genius pulled me back into the record business. When I quit running KRS in 2006 it was important to me that it become 100% Portia’s baby. I never made any suggestions about what artists I thought she should work with. But when Portia played MAITA’s music for me I immediately thought it was so special that I found myself breaking my own 13 year old rule. I told Portia I thought she absolutely should sign them. Next thing I knew, we had agreed not only to sign MAITA, but that I would return to a limited role at KRS in order to shepherd the whole project. It was months later that we learned Portia would be leaving to take over as CEO of The Music Business Association and that I’d be returning as president of the label, as well.”
MAITA’S debut LP, Best Wishes, was produced by Maita-Keppeler and Matthew Zeltzer, and tracked live at the 100-year-old Ok Theatre in Enterprise, Oregon and Room 13 in Portland, Oregon. 2020 tour dates and release details for Best Wishes will be announced soon.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the video for the album’s first single, “Can’t Blame a Kid”. Lyrically, the song follows the roots of an old scar back to childhood, when Maita-Keppeler found herself as the “quiet one,” trapped in the shadow of an overwhelming peer. With a big indie rock sound infused with a pop-punk edge, the song brings to mind the kind of radio rock hits that turned bands into stars in the 90s. The chorus – catchy as hell – conveys its singer’s realization that she can’t blame other people for her insecurities. The video features Maita-Keppeler unleashing her feelings on a white board with finger paint, bringing to mind child-like frustrations and also serving as a strong visual for the song’s rambunctious rock sound.
Maria Maita-Keppeler explains the inspiration behind the song and the video:
“‘Can’t Blame a Kid’ takes a stab at unpacking the insecurities that I’d built up from childhood, zeroing in on a particular relationship that bore a lot of weight on me throughout my adolescence. For many years it was easy for me to blame a lack of confidence and self-worth on this relationship, and writing this song helped me to find resolution by bringing light to the futility of harboring resentment against children, as we all were back in the formative days that inspired the song. It really is fascinating, though unfortunate, that we are often at our most callous at the age when we are also the most fragile.
The video was a lot of fun for me to make. I’d always wanted to make a finger-painting video for this song, something that echoed the wild, colorful, cathartic nature of the song. Shortly before the release of the single, I realized that it was in my power to do so: I had an iPhone camera and a white wall in my basement. I’d never attempted to produce a video before, so I demanded utmost privacy–I didn’t even let anyone enter the room to press the record button. It was liberating to do one 4 minute take and have the video essentially finished. I feel particularly proud of this video considering the meaning behind Can’t Blame a Kid. It was empowering to have the opportunity to take ownership of a vision and execute it was on my own, a task that required a degree of self-assuredness and confidence that would have seemed wildly out of reach to my childhood self.”
For more music and info visit maitamusic.com
Photo credit: Ingrid Renan
Was enjoying Maita’s solo material.I’m not as fond of this band performance.It will work great for the younger crowd it is aiming for…If the new LP is going to be a POP release…I’ll probably pass.Put out a solo LP and I would be onboard.Either way you’ll do fine..but the characteristics of your voice,which attracted me in the first place,are buried in a Rock/Pop mix.