Imagine falling in slow motion, slightly intoxicated from the finest wines. A warm breeze accompanies your fall, but instead of landing on hard ground you fall into the most sumptuous duvet ever experienced. Such is the generous embrace that you get from listening to Maple Glider’s new album To Enjoy Is The Only Thing. It’s an album that feels like the artist is in the room with you playing a concert just for your benefit. Maple Glider a great artist name but easily matched by the outstanding real name of Tori Zietsch (I am always jealous of names that have a ‘Z’ in them). Maple and Glider are two descriptors that perfectly convey the golden sweetness and floating sensation that the music invokes. Tori Zietsch says of her music: “it explores intimate themes that are often cathartic to write. I don’t have rules when I make music. I play around, express freely, let go of my expectations, have fun, and stay open”.
To Enjoy Is The Only Thing has its genesis in late 2018 travelling with an ex in Northern India which led to a period of travelling separately and then meeting up again in Brighton. Being a native of Melbourne to travelling in India and then arriving on the wet and cold South coast of England all dovetailed into a self-reflective year, the purchase of an acoustic guitar and an attempt to fill up the SoundCloud limit with songs (achieved in February 2020). Then there was a break-up, a trip to Portugal and Spain, a return to Melbourne, elation, depression, internet dating, friends, a road trip, isolation, and music. For good music to be made life has to be lived and it’s obvious from this list that Zietsch is keen to fill a large plate from the buffet of life.
Where some voices can be small and tremulous and others shake crystal close to its shattering point, they rarely inhabit the same person, but that definitely the case with Maple Glider. Zietsch can move from the breathy, nearly cracking, plea of ‘Baby Tiger’ to supercharged vocal cords on ‘Good Thing’, with the kind of power that could easily replace fossil fuels. This is a voice that accelerates from macro to meta in milliseconds and yet maintains a sense of compassion for the song’s subject matter. From start to finish this is an album that will help you slow down and take respite on the warm coast of Maple Glider’s Zen island with only your delta waves lapping the shoreline.
Review by Paul F Cook