Maija Sofia’s new album, Bath Time, comprises of nine songs taking historical female figures, and utilising their stories to create an enthralling and beautiful collection.
The latest single, The Glitter, is just one of the highlights on the Irish art-folk maestros record. And to find out what provides her inspiration, we caught with Maija to discuss music, film and literature. These are her Sound & Vision picks:
Three favourite albums:
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
I think I’ve probably listened to this album more than any other. I’m still as completely obsessed with it as I was when I first started listening to it in my early teens. It’s completely over the top, and manages to somehow straddle between wildly experimental weirdness and absolute pop bangers. It’s the album I listen to when I’m in utter volatile depths of despair and when I’m drunk at a party and trying to get everyone to dance to Running Up That Hill.
Joanna Newsom – Ys
This is the album that made me fall in love with the harp, and Joanna Newsom’s lyrics are just unlike anyone else; she’s completely in her own league. I think this is the best, strangest album of this century so far. It was a record I listened to over and over again when I was a lonely 19 year old living in a new city before I’d made any friends, and I went into that kind of fervent obsession that only really lonely people do and spent whole days walking around alien streets and parks playing it on repeat.
Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
Jenny Hval is just so clever. My dream is to find a way to be both pop star and academic and Jenny Hval feels like someone who comes close to that; the way she manages to distill big theoretical ideas into three minute pop songs. Blood Bitch deals with most of my main interests – desire, capitalism, sex, periods, feminism and vampires and is also just really fun and good.
A favourite film:
Chantal Akerman – Saute Ma Ville
I’m very bad at watching films – my attention span is dreadful, so I rarely watch anything long. I recently watched this very short film that Akerman made when she was 18. It’s basically a woman shut up in her apartment going about her everyday business. I’m interested in work made by teenage/young women because it’s rarely taken seriously and also voyeuristicly love to watch people so I love this – one day, before I will die, I will watch her most famous film, Jeanne Dielmann, but it’s almost four hours long so not today.
An important book:
Mary Gaitskill – Bad Behaviour
I consume books more quickly and frequently than I consume any other forms of culture, so it’s impossible to pick a favourite, but I recently read Mary Gaitskill for the first time and oh my god she’s so good, potentially the best. A lot of my favourite books are short story collections by women, so I should have read this years ago really. She is dark and funny and clever and the way she handles power dynamics in relationships, weird unspoken forms of violence and something I’m going to call post-coital uncertainty is just SO GOOD.
An important song:
Britney Spears – Everytime
Me and two of my friends were having a duvet day recently and we came to the realisation that this song was one of the most pivotal cultural moments of our childhood. The pure unbridled audacity of Justin Timberlake to try and publicly shame Britney in Cry Me a River, and Britney, truly unstoppable, comes back with this amazing song (which she wrote) and iconic video – as my album is titled Bath Time, it’s probably no surprise that I’m an avid fan of bath cameos in pop culture. Heartbreak peaked. Revenge-songs peaked. Britney is one of the greatest popstars we have ever had and as a society we owe her more kindness than she receives.