The Marías: An Honest Review
Before we get started- this is not a typical music review. This is about how difficult it is to connect with bigger artists on a personal level.
My aim is to create media that is genuine, inclusive, transformative, and ultimately from the perspective of the artist. This is a story about my attempt to interview The Marías and how not every attempt to interview an artist goes as expected. This is about the difficulties of trying to create transformative media across any platform.
An Honest Review:
On Friday, May 17, 2019, The Marías performed in the quaint Downtown district in Riverside, Ca @ The Concert Lounge, which is attached to the top half of the Chicago style restaurant Romano’s. Originally their performance was to take place on Thursday, May 16, 2019, with opener Chelsea Rose (from former group, Summer Twins). The initial show was supposed to be a one night affair, however, due to their popularity, the show sold out the day the tickets were released. Inevitably, The Concert Lounge, had no choice but to add another sold out show with opener, Kiki Diago, that Friday evening.
Despite The Marías’ popularity, this was a hometown affair, giving local musicians the spotlight alongside the up and coming superstars. This show was put together by local show promotor Mano y Mano Productions.
The Marías are a group that I have been following for a while now, and I have to admit, I was hesitant to get into them because they easily fit into the vintage re-selling-hipster-surfer-indie-groovy-psych rock bands from Los Angeles that are more hip due to their aesthetic over their musicianship. As a Los Angeles resident, I know this “type” all too well. After judging too harshly and shameful stereotyping, I am proud to say that I was wrong about The Marías’ musicianship. I was impressed by their cohesion as a band and stage presence. The most memorable song that stood out in their performance was ABQ from their EP Superclean Vol. II. The crowd grew quiet as the opening Dmaj7 cadence began. There is an ambiguous mystery held throughout the song that screams with transparency that is not meant to be understood. It’s a soothing ballad that deals with living with anxiety. As a person that has lived their life with anxiety, it was refreshing to hear this song and how ABQ creates a sense of ease. The crowd swayed gently with lead singer María Zaragoya as she delicately delivered her simplistic lyrics. When ABQ was played by the band it was the first time I’ve experienced an entire audience under The Marías’ spell. It was a beautiful moment where I just closed my eyes and allowed their music to hit me like the most gentle wave in the ocean.
“Oh, can I get the window down?
It’s getting warm
Oh, can you keep your voices down?
I’m tryna push recall…”
The Marías appear to be a daydream and merely they are. I spoke with their manager and with the band personally about getting a short interview. Aforementioned, I like to create media that comes from and reflects the artists point of view so that it is more genuine. I had talked to them about this multiple times. The last time I had spoken with them they gave me dates, times, and direct contact to set something up. As I walked out of their green room after the show, a feeling came over me that felt that this all seemed too easy; not saying that it has to be hard, but my intuition told me that something was off. Why were they so kind? Why so eager to fulfill my requests? Sometimes you feel so small when creating media from a non-commercial and non-corporate outlet that I felt compelled to keep my guard up to protect my feelings and my drive to push through any situation with an artist.
Following up with the artists and their manager a couple days later, I ceased to get a reply from them. Then I gave it a little more time because I understand how busy artists can get. It is now August, and after multiple attempts of reconnecting, I still haven’t heard anything from the manager or the band.
I’m far from upset, and I’m sure some of you are reading this thinking I’m being petty or salty, but the fact of the matter is we shouldn’t pretend to be anything that we aren’t. If you’re not interested in doing an interview, just say no. At the end of the day, you’re wasting everyone’s time. I’d rather people be displeasing to my face than pulling me around promising me something that isn’t going to happen.
After this experience, I’ve learned how important it is to respect the time and energy of people, especially if you’re working on a project together. I waited three months to write this review that their manager asked me to do. Funny how that works huh?
Just because I’m not a major news reporter doesn’t mean I deserve to be treated insignificantly. No one does. I hope The Marías can begin to be more honest about who they are because if it weren’t for the small fish they would’ve never been able to be apart of the larger pond.
I don’t know if I should tell you to listen to them, but I still do love their music, however, I don’t know how genuine they truly are, which I would be wary of since music is a huge influencer of emotion and thought.
I’d highly recommend checking out the openers from their two shows: Chelsea Rose (@hellochelsearose) and Kiki Diago (@kikidiago) on Instagram to follow some of the cool things they are doing!
Until next time,
All images were taken my Mikaela Elson on 35mm Kodak Portra 800.