Spotify Takeover | Maija Sofia

Maija Sofia

A playlist by Maija Sofia featuring Weyes Blood, Jenny Hval, Dolly Parton and more. 

Maija Sofia Makela is a musician and writer from rural Co. Galway. Her uniquely striking debut album 'Bath Time', a collection of songs exploring the female experience throughout art, history and folklore was released in November 2019 through Trapped Animal Records to unanimous praise across Irish and UK media.

We are over the moon to welcome Maija Sofia back to Other Voices after having her with us in Cardigan in 2019. Ahead of her performances in Ballina, she's taken the time to share with us some of the songs that have inspired her and influenced her work. 

 

Weyes Blood - Seven Words

I could have chosen any number of Weyes Blood to include in this list, but this was the first song of hers I discovered and instantly fell in love. I love how directly emotive her songwriting is, she’s really uncool in that way, and I absolutely love her for it. She just lays all her feelings out in the most overt way possible, in a way that’s almost too much, too cliched, and throws in some country slide guitar and sweeping harmonie. I wrote the lyric “I want you mostly in the morning, when my soul is weak from dreaming” on my bedroom wall after hearing this song to remind me to keep being as embarrassing and emotional and dream-oriented as possible.

The Modern Lovers - Hospital

This song displays all the sweet, heart-wrenching earnestness I generally find insufferable in male songwriters, and yet, I love it. It’s such a simple song but it’s utterly heartbreaking and makes me cry if I listen to it at the wrong moment, I got into The Modern Lovers when I was very depressed and worked as a baker and so unsurprisingly, the line “I go to bakeries all day long, there’s a lack of sweetness in my life” is one of my favourite lyrics ever. 

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love

This is my number 1 favourite song of all time and Kate Bush is my number 1 most important artist of all time. I have pretty much structured my life around Kate Bush songs. I love the way this song feels kind of wild and feral, it’s a good song to dance to if you feel like everything’s spiralling out of control. 

Laurie Anderson - Love is a Virus

I absolutely love Laurie Anderson, I love how well she has managed to crossover between disciplines and continue to create work that is interesting and innovative. This is a complete banger that just has so many crazy things going on. 

Jenny Hval - The Great Undressing

Jenny Hval is another artist who works in between various disciplines and this song is like a live feed of her creative process, basically singing her anxieties about writing and making creative work under Capitalism, extremely relatable!

Richard Dawson - Two Halves

This is potentially one of the saddest songs of all time, I am a person who until this year had never watched a football match (my boyfriend bribed me) and have never been able to ‘get’ football or why people get so emotional about it. Then I listened to this song and it all makes sense, I finally understand the romance and tragedy of football and it’s all thanks to Richard Dawson

Dolly Parton - Here You Come Again

I spent my adolescence exclusively listening to extremely cool music and making sure everyone knew I only listened to cool music, but now in my twenties I pretty much only listen to pop and soaring country heartbreak. Since Dolly is the queen of both pop and country heartbreak and general songwriting icon, here is one of her best songs, “here you come again, looking better than a body has the right to” - so relatable! So good! So true!

Leonard Cohen - Famous Blue Raincoat

My favourite Leonard Cohen song changes all the time but it’s this one at the moment, so unrelenting in it’s complete misery. I really enjoy extremely miserable songs, and this is one of the saddest, I love that it’s composed like a letter, I love how visually evocative it is, I also love when songs name explicit people - who is Jane, and more importantly who is Lily-Marlene? “Thanks for the trouble you took from her eyes, I thought it was there for good so I never tried” has to be one of the saddest lyrics ever written!

Full Spotify Playlist

Maija Sofia will play Other Voices Ballina Saturday 29th February, in Ballina Presbyterian Church at 1PM and Harrison's Bar at 5.30PM.