Oct 17th, 2023
The debut album of soul singer Maiiah is also the third full-length by Hamburg collective Angels of Libra, following on from the success of their collaboration with Irish singer Nathan Johnston, and their solo sophomore full-length Revelations,
Maiiah is a singer with roots in the Balkans but who was raised in Düsseldorf, the city of the legendary Unique Club and the label of the same name. Soul left its mark on her early on, and when she met Hamburg producer, musician and composer Dennis Rux (Hamburg Spinners / Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Studios) during the pandemic, the two realized they shared a similar musical vision. Their common love of soul music and old rhythm & blues brought them together, and they started recording music together in Hamburg with the Angels of Libra. Lo and behold, their first single together “Obey” got rotation at Radioeins and confirmed them as a winning team.
Following in the footsteps of many a classic soul tune, second single, “No No No (I’m So Broke)“ is a social critique and commentary. In it Maiiah literally wears her heart on her sleeve, as she sings about the back-breaking job she was working at the time and the poor earnings as a hotel service employee.
But naturally life has more to offer than just work and so a large part of the songs on this record revolve around love. Maiiah gives her own spin to the classic “I’m A Good Woman“, which the spirited singer has performed live many times. The story goes that the late DJ and Unique Records label owner Henry Storch sent Maiiah the original song by Barbara Lynn to comfort her after a heavy heartbreak. The song thus holds a very important place in Maiiah‘s heart, and it was released as the third advance single.
With Dennis Rux at her side and the powerful arrangements of the Angels of Libra, Maiiah has found the right partners for her personal debut. On “Kava“ & “Plenty of Life”, Hamburg’s jack-of-all-trades Carsten Meyer aka Erobique is featured as a guest on the keyboards, so here the rhythm section of the Hamburg Spinners comes together again. The love for old soul, rhythm & blues and the analog sound of the 60s is also fully expressed on this album.
The longings and deep feelings in Maiiah‘s lyrics are carefully picked up musically, whether as a classic R&B song as in “Please Come Home“ or in boogaloo party mode as in the Croatian-sung “Kava”, the fourth single. “Plenty of Life” is a song for self-cheering and a call to open up to the beautiful sides of life despite all adversity. In “I Wanna Go” on the other hand, Maiiah longs for her Croatian homeland. The crowning finale of the album is the intense “Infinity” about life’s phases and the recurring ups and downs as the essence of human existence.
The ingredients of Maiiah and the Angels of Libra‘s recipe are authentic lyrics, to-the-point arrangements, tight horns, rousing background vocals and the spirit of the golden age of soul music, as it was shaped by labels like Motown and Stax. The joint album combines the Hamburg soul of the Angels of Libra with the passion of Maiiah, who can fully live out her fiery temperament on the mic.
‘Maiiah & the Angels Of Libra’ out on LP / CD / digitally on Oct. 20th 2023 via Waterfall