Photo by Marie-Fleur Charlesworth
Maya Marie is an artist we’ve already held quite a fascination for here on EQ, as she memorably struck out with her band Sohodolls with the feistiest take on pop, since punk was owned by Siouxsie Sioux. The Sohodolls gave good attitude on their long player “Ribbed Music For The Numb Generation” and thereafter brought about subsequent releases firmly planted as twisted pop on the hauntingly dark side of the spectrum.
Setting herself up with a new project called the New Pharaohs, Maya isn’t about to lose sight of her gutsy heritage which uprooted her from the Lebanon during the height of civil war. You can’t go through something as impacting as that without it leaving a mark on all that you subsequently do. Especially so being a creative. The residual energy must be lit with imagery and so many vivid memories to latch onto.
Now going under the new name of the New Pharaohs there are even more opportunities created to harness the edgy demeanor in all Maya surveyed into thrusting pop opulence and bring it out under a shiny new metal jacket of steely songwriting and impressionably alluring, sugar-coated vocals.
This all comes through in New Pharaohs third single release “Nothing Without You”. A track punctured in gripping soundwaves of nostalgia, that it gives a fuzzing recall to memory the same kind of new wave sound soup served up by all girl pop/rock influenced outfit The Bangles.
Quite normally we’d stand aside with anything brandishing a screeching guitar in it, but Maya has found a way within her jangly, indie spangled track composition that makes it wholly acceptable and warranted to do so. Given Maya’s upbringing in a far flung war-zone, it’s just the genetic make-up of those times bleeding through.
With a voice so beguiling like that, Maya’s bringing on the flutter of butterflies and the tingle rippling down the spine of new romanticized, punk glamour in the form of a heartfelt love song.
Although there is cause to tag the New Pharaohs under much the same, sad pop sound classification they are streaks ahead in cinematic pop presence than anything Lana would do.