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MAALA Unveils New Album 'Water Overhead' + Interview

MAALA Unveils New Album 'Water Overhead' + Interview

Annabel Kean / Friday 10th July, 2020 9:38AM

MAALA aka Evan Sinton has levelled up on his second album Water Overhead, a project four years in the making since his debut Composure. Out today, Water Overhead is a complex and concentrated collection of picture perfect pop. It has a larger than life feel to it too, with heart-stopping drops that crash into bass and piano, and Sinton is well aware of the space the album takes up. The body of music was previewed last week at a visuals-heavy listening party, placing attendees under a massive, glowing white sphere, in a surreal recreation of the room the record was written in: Sinton's bedroom, which was lit overhead by the soft light of a paper globe lampshade. MAALA took a moment from their busy release week schedule to answer a few burning questions from assistant editor Annabel Kean. Dive into MAALA's sophomore long player Water Overhead, and get to know the brain behind the music below...

Annabel Kean: How do you deal with writers block? What techniques work for you?

MAALA: Nowadays it’s been about doing anything but writing. Showing a bit of self-love. If it’s not working at that moment - make yourself a tea, read a book.

How do you feel about finding your footing in the music industry through NZ's Got Talent, as opposed to the usual routes?

I don’t think I did find my footing through NZGT. TV Land was a weird alternate universe and I think it left me upside down for a while there. It opened doors that I’m incredibly grateful for and introduced me to people I otherwise might not have met. It’s those people I’ve worked with that have really helped me to ~ figure it out ~

I read you came up with MAALA by seeing which letters looked cool together. Have you found meaning in it since then?

Picking a name is hard. I think picking a name purely cause it looked cool was a way of kinda taking the pressure off. As time has gone by it’s felt like a cosy house to store all my music in. If the next project feels a world away then maybe it’s time to move house.

Was lockdown a time of calm and reflection for you, or were you one of those people who learnt an entire new skill?

I’ve got a part time job that kept me busy through lockdown so it didn’t switch up the work flow too dramatically, no.

How does your recorded music compare to your live performances?

Live performances terrify me. Rolling around on a four bar loop in my room is my happy place.

How are you feeling about not being able to tour overseas for the foreseeable future?

For me personally, see above. For other artists that rely on it to survive it’s not an easy thing to see play out.

What does a Water Overhead immersive listening experience look like?

It was an opportunity for people to hear the album in a context that I felt best reflected how it was written. Most of the songs started under a coloured rice paper shade in my bedroom. In collaboration with Angus Muir we created a giant, circular, omnipotent god that people could lose themselves in for a couple hours.

Do you have plans to explore more of the visual side of your live events?

I’d love to. No plans as of yet but the brain is whirling after last weekend.

Which Aotearoa musicians would be your dream collaborators?

borrowed cs, Leonard Charles, i.e crazy

Maala's latest collection 'Water Overhead' is out now via Sony Music New Zealand.


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