Today, Friday 21st May, Maria Kelly follows up on the success of ‘Martha’ with the release of her latest single, ‘eight hours’, on VETA Music.
As we move closer to the release of Maria’s debut album (autumn 2021), a theme that emerges is one of acceptance and finding the strength to meet yourself where you are, wherever you are. ‘eight hours’ sees Maria continue her exploration of her own mental health journey. While ‘Martha’ was about learning to deal with change and all that comes with it, Maria says she imagines ‘eight hours’ as a conversation – trying to explain to someone exactly why you’re struggling, but invalidating your experience every step of the way.
Maria elaborates: “You convince yourself that it’s just one single thing, and that if you could just find it, fix it, get over it – everything would be ok again. Ironically, through that process of invalidating, there’s so much pressure, guilt and shame, which just sends us further into that spiral.
“It’s a cycle I think a lot of us fall into, because it’s really hard to give yourself permission to struggle. I spent a really long time fighting against my own experience. Feeling down or lost always equated to ‘not trying hard enough’. I was always on the hunt for something to fix, but I’m constantly reminding myself that nothing is inherently ‘broken’ – so there is nothing to fix in the first place.”
Though introspective, Maria’s new record is inherently one that is designed to provoke not just thought and emotion – but also action. Her underlying message to the listener that ‘you deserve the right help and you deserve support’ comes through her music like a good friend who wants you to be well – but knows that gentle encouragement is the best method of persuasion.
Maria Kelly’s world of delicately woven alt-folk is laced with a sincerity that cuts to the bone. Finding comfort in the confessional styles of artists like Regina Spektor, Daughter, and Lucy Rose, she soon transferred her own introspections to music, developing a sound that is as delicate as it is disarmingly frank.
‘Martha’ became Maria Kelly’s most successful radio single to date, garnering over 1 million impacts on Irish radio alone since its release just over six weeks ago. The beautiful track has also received plays on BBC Radio and XS Manchester, to name a few, and has almost 100,000 streams on Spotify so far.
Maria Kelly is signed to VETA Music along with friends such as HAVVK, Sive, St. Bishop and DYVR. A number of critically acclaimed releases have been accompanied by shows across Europe playing with and supporting the likes of Villagers, James Vincent McMorrow, KT Tunstall, and Paul Noonan (Bell X1) and All The Luck In The World. Maria quickly became known for her heart-wrenching live performances, unassuming humour, and a ‘pin-drop’ vocal that is impossible to ignore. Maria’s work has continued to gain momentum internationally, rallying support from the likes of Mahogany, Consequence of Sound, and The Line Of Best Fit along the way.
With the world at a standstill, 2020 saw Maria retreating to a small cottage on the south coast of Ireland. During this quiet in-between, Maria has found space to write and record her eagerly anticipated debut album – a blank canvas and an open sea with which to take stock and reflect on her 20s so far.