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Leeds, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Leeds, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Folk




"MUSIC OMH (Cambridge Folk Festival)"

"A special mention here has to go to MAIA, a ridiculously young folk band from Huddersfield who spend all afternoon sucking crowds into The Den with their cutely leaf-let marketing play (yes, you've guessed it, a flyer printed on a leaf) and then spend 45 minutes charming the audience and making sure the effort of finding them was worth it. And to think musicOMH only took a risk on them because the Club Tent was too rammed with Webb Sisters fans to get into". - Jenni Cole


Banjo-wielding young men playing alternative folk music...wait, don't avert your eyes in a Mumford-recalling strop. MAIA are nothing like the bloated stadium-barndancers you love to hate. The upcoming Huddersfield quartet may boast male harmonies and a folky aesthetic, but they are spirited, youthful and most of all, rewarding to curious ears. Avoiding self-indulgent bombast, few songs on this excellent 2nd album (Pepper Stars) outlast three minutes. While the instruments may be old-fashioned, the songwriting is reminiscent of Talking Heads (as on the peppy 'Living in the Alligator') or 60s psychedelic pop (on the essential ' Grandfather Plan'). Even when they're getting their cute on (with the summery 'Dear Io') singer Tom Clegg's affecting lilt manages to keep Maia riveting. An overuse of mariachi trumpet and some primitive production are the only minor quibbles. There is so much to enjoy, it's a perfect tonic for anyone who's starting to use 'folk' as a four letter word! - Oliver Keens

"Maia - Finite World EP Review (FATEA)"

I never quite know what to say about Maia - if ever a band deserve the sobriquet indefinable this is the one. They say on their website that they invented sci-fi folk and I suppose that is about as close as it gets. What it doesn't encapsulate is the sheer exuberance and uniqueness of their sound.

I have seen Maia perform a number of times at festivals and more than once witnessed standing ovations by the stunned and ecstatic audience. If one could give such an ovation to an EP then this would more than deserve it.

Melodic invention, quasi falsetto vocals, a range of instruments that shouldn't work together but most emphatically do, and intriguing, mysterious lyrics inhabit all four songs which, despite these common elements, each have their own personality.

This EP marks a new high point in Maia's recorded output and as such is as unmissable as their live performances - of which there are an increasing number as their reputation and fan base continue to grow exponentially. There are not many EP's I would class as essential but this is one.

Joe Grint - Joe Grint - Fatea Magazine

"Maia - Finite World EP review"

Tom Clegg, front man of Huddersfield four-piece Maia, dubs his band’s latest EP “pastoral paranormal paisley sound”, a description that not only makes for five-star alliteration but goes at least halfway towards pinpointing just what kind of music this group creates. Fusing the sounds of a million opposing genres and refusing to be confined to any one of them, Finite World is a fascinating, immersive and most importantly refreshing record from start to finish, even if it is truly impossible to define.

Though perhaps a little lower key than the band’s most recent work, the 2012 LP Pepper Stars, Finite World is an EP that stays true to the band’s sound, whatever that is. As well as ‘60s influenced instrumentation all four tracks play on the tender Lennon/McCartney-esque harmonies that characterise Maia’s work: ever present but never over looming, complex but pulled off with natural ease. Opening track ‘Small High Whistle from a Bird’ exemplifies this style; minimal production is evident on the song and no electronic instruments are present yet the haunting vocals and almost hypnotic guitar work allow the track to ascend towards the spectral surroundings explored by the band’s previous sonic exploits- ‘Because’ by The Beatles or Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’ probably being the most relevant points of reference.

Finite World is only four tracks long yet still manages to completely consume its listener, be it with the ghostly surrealism of ‘Milky Boy’ or the sexiness of the brass lead title track. Unafraid to borrow from a range of influences, this EP takes its listener far away to a church in a farm on planet Mars, and quite rightly expects you to just go along with it. This isn’t more evident than on third track ‘Maisie’, which uses mesmeric synth sounds and quirky folk instruments to fabricate a kind of musical liminal space where mixing Mumford and sons with Tame Impala is completely acceptable.

Like the floral pattern Clegg claims is synonymous with his band’s work, Finite World is intricate and elaborate, twisting and turning through a thousand harmonic and instrumental mazes that tail off in completely different directions, never clashing and ever enhancing the record as a whole. Somehow, despite a formula that looks like a car crash of styles on paper, this EP works. So if you’re into psych-rock, blues, folk, art-rock or just find intrigue in the weird and wonderful, stop what you’re doing, throw on a well-ironed paisley shirt and say hello to your new favourite band.

By Louis Roberts - Louis Roberts - The Ripple



With the four Maianauts safely back down to Earth after Moon landings, star gazing and forays into the outer solar system on the 2012 Olympian album “Pepper Stars”; a Summer of Festival Love! So what’s next for the self proclaimed Sci-fi Folk Evangelists?

Maia’s ‘Finite World’ EP, available April 28th, showcases four new songs;

1.Small High Whistle From A Bird
2.Milky Boy
4.Finite World

Maia, drawing on their love of Folk, Bowie, and English psychedelia, go from trad quirks of ‘Small High Whistle’ through a rip roaring slam playground taunt of a chorus in ‘Milky Boy’ recalling the woes of a childhood albino friend, then to the loungey banjo and uke led ‘Maisie’. The EP concludes with the title track ‘Finite World’, a catchy brass infused tune which is the featured single from this release.

Lead singer Tom Clegg describes this EP as, “pastoral paranormal paisley sound “ or is it Sci–fi folk in paisley shirts!? Finite World EP- released on a limited edition numbered 10” virgin vinyl and CD, both bound and encased in a screen printed wooden sleeves. It will be available via record shops and will be launched on
Record Store Day April 19th with a live performance at Jumbo Records in Leeds. Maia will embark upon their Finite Tour throughout April, May and onwards through 2014. Alight Adventure from Maia’s Pepper Stars can be heard on the After Nyne Spotify Playlist. - Claire - 'After Nyne'


Maia "Maia"

Label: P&C Vandal; 2010

This four piece starts the record out with a few songs that perfectly blend of the modern free folk style made popular by Devandra Banhart and others along with a more traditional folk. As the record moves on, the songs become even a bit more daring. They are all very easy on the ear, but the daring part is their ability to mix genres and defy categorization. And even if that makes my task more difficult, it makes for a more exciting listening experience. I hear different African and South American touches in rhythms and use of brass. There is some Americana evident at times, but in other songs their English roots show through. The vocals seemingly come from another dimension in a less demonstrative Antony (and the Johnsons) Heggarty style. This has enough elements of folk for genre fans but covers an awful lot of ground and is one of the more compelling listens I have had in a while.

David Hintz - Folk World


Album 1. MAIA by MAIA

Album 2. Pepper Stars



Maia are a pop folk acoustic quartet from Huddersfield/Leeds, who have described themselves as sci-fi folk evangelists! They have a radiant varied sound, stunning harmonies with a brooding sense of adventure and streaks of pop eccentricity. 

After 3 years of live show experience, and supports including the likes of Anais Mitchell, The Low Anthem and The Unthanks the group are continuing to receive huge praise and a greater following for their fantastic live shows. In 2012 and 2013 their festival appearances have included:

No6 Festival, Festival of Jim, Broadstairs Folk Week, Musicport, No Direction Home, Hop Farm Festival, Larmer Tree, Port Eliot, London Folk Weekend ,Wilderness , Kings Place Festival ,Big Boulder Festival, Galtres, Green Belt, Aire Do Festival, The Village Green Fair, Glastonbury, Whitby Alternative Folk Week to name a few!

Their highly acclaimed celestial album "Pepper Stars" released in October 2012 received many 4 and 5 star reviews and was a Time Out Album of the week. The band were well supported on the radio regionally and nationally from Guy Garvey and Tom Robinson on BBC 6 music as well as being picked for Best of 2012 on Radio 4s Loose Ends Culture Show.

2014 will see the release of their first new 4 track EP Finite World on record store day (19th April) with several more singles and an album to follow.  

Festival Recommendations and Quotes:

Maia produced one of the best and most talked about performances on the main stage from the pin drop silence during one of their more tender moments to their rousing finale of which got them the biggest standing ovation of the weekendtruly mesmerising! - Jim McLaughlin Festival Director Musicport 2013

'This exciting and innovative band wowed the audiences at Broadstairs Folk Week with their interesting and eclectic take on folk music.  Well written songs, great musicianship and some of the nicest guys around make this young band a must have booking for any festival organiser' - Kim Headley Artistic director at Broadstairs Festival 2013

Maia came and played around the site at The Port Eliot Festival in July 2012 and were received with warmth and applause wherever they went. They are a splendidly talented bunch of guys and I would recommend them to anyone wanting an excellent band for their festival or show. I will be booking them again for the Port Eliot Festival in 2014 and they will be appearing at our area at Glastonbury 2013 as well. Maia are great! -  Rick Worthy Music and Cabaret manager at Port Eliot Festival/Theatre and Circus  stage manager at Glastonbury Festival 2013

"youthful, spirited, richly atmospheric and intelligently off-centre alt.folk pop" -  Time Out 2013 Album of the week

"Maia have undeniable chemistry on stage, they are mesmerising to watch both visually and musically" - Hop Farm Festival 2012

"Eclectic with surprising twists and turns throughout their set, Maia are very good atexecuting their own brand of whimsical folk. Upbeat and multi-instrumental, they set the right mood in the glade as feet tap and heads turn". - Acoustic Magazine (In The Woods Festival) 2012

"A sci-fi folk group from Huddersfield known as Maia, who were received with much excitement and warmth spend 45 minutes charming the audience and making sure the effort of finding them was worth it". - The Times (Cambridge Folk Festival) 2012


Banjo / Vocals / Bass / Ukulele - Simon Robinson

Trumpet / Vocals / Keyboard / Percussion - Joe Haig

Acoustic Guitar / Vocals - Tom Clegg

Djembe / Cajon / Percussion / Vocals - Will Fletcher

Band Members