Last Friday, during my week-long vacation in Seattle, my friends Joe and Robyn took me to an area of town called Ballard. We ate Thai for dinner, ducked into a used record shop, and peered into the windows of illuminated neighborhood bars before deciding on Hattie’s Hat for a Strongbow and soul music on the jukebox. There, Joe and I started talking music, and he told me about a local band that has been gaining some national attention as of late: The Maldives. On the way home, we walked by Sunset Tavern, the venue of an upcoming Maldives show in June, and a frequent stomping ground for the nine-man outfit (yes, nine).
A few days later, the three of us spent a late-night hour trying the band’s music on for size. And oh my, did it fit.
You definitely wouldn’t think that something so authentically country would come out of the Northwest, but The Maldives are for real. This isn’t some new twist on an old genre. This is sitting at the end of an empty bar, tear in your beer country music. Yet, I keep thinking back to Ballard and its kaleidoscopic display of indie establishments and patrons as part of The Maldives’ story. I don’t know if that country sound is what comes most innately to them, but the boys inject it with shades of utter cool.
With nods to Willie Nelson and a fierce pedal steel accompaniment, “Tequila Sunday,” is a great introduction to what The Maldives do best.
The Maldives first LP, Listen to the Thunder, came out last fall, and they did their thang at SXSW this year. Partake if you haven’t already.