NEWS: Maria BC returns with spinetingling reflections of 'Good Before'

NEWS: Maria BC returns with spinetingling reflections of ‘Good Before’

Following their last release The Only Thing, Maria BC returns with the stunning second track, Good Before, from their upcoming album Hyaline which arrives via Father/Daughter Records (U.S) & Fear Of Missing Out (UK) on the 27th May.

The celestial ‘Good Before’ is a startling moment of reflection shrouded in atmospheric guitar touches like metallic raindrops drizzling down. Maria BC wrote the song while on a highway drive watching the sunrise, a spinetingling vocal wistfully encapsulating past mistakes, fears and future hopes: their magnificently haunting tone, reaching toward perhaps their most accessible moment yet. With words like emotions flowing through and emanating from their spur-of-the-moment magic. It’s one of the best things I’ve heard so far this year!

I’m trying to beat down this individualist impulse that sometimes comes with creating a piece of art.”

A song plucked from the vaults of Maria BC was written before even their debut EP came out, and the process of developing the song was one that Maria feels has offered much value to their writing.

I wrote “Good before” in 2019, before any of the other songs on Hyaline — and before any of the songs on Devil’s Rain, for that matter. I put it away for a while because I thought it was too pop-y, but eventually, I got over that. Now it holds a special place in my heart. Some of the lyrics came to me on the highway, when the sun was starting to rise, and I was running on no sleep, just Dunkin’. It’s unusual for lyrics to come to me ~in the wild~ like this. I like to block out time to sit in a spot and write. That’s just my style. When inspiration comes to me out of nowhere, I’m immensely grateful.”

Hyaline, the title of their debut full-length album, describes something that is clear and translucent like glass, especially a smooth sea. For the Ohio-born, Oakland, CA-based artist, songwriting is a stretched blank canvas awaiting the strokes of an exhale, and it’s this slow-moving process that rewards us the ease of a crystalline sky, without forgetting the clouds that may have come before it. A knife’s-edge balance of intimacy and ambiguity, Hyaline accesses snapshots of grief, anxiety and wonder through a miscellany of spectres: these are ghost stories, but not as we know them.

Growing up, Maria BC often found solace in spending time alone. They learned how to entertain themselves creatively, and the childhood practice of songwriting still deeply affects how they associate with music today. “It makes me cherish and revel in moments of being totally alone,” they explain.

It’s this power of reframing, of shaping our hardest citations, that alerts us to the present force of Hyaline. Citing poet Louise Gluck, Maria BC was inspired by the notion of the dreamer and the watcher archetypes. “The dreamer is always looking towards a future that can never happen, but the watcher is effectively present,” they say. “The way I can become more of a watcher is by putting it into music.

This awareness can be felt in the loose, minimal arrangements of Hyaline. Unlike 2021’s debut EP Devil’s Rain where they recorded in one room, careful not to disturb their roommates or neighbours, Maria BC created Hyaline all across their untreated apartment while previously living in Brooklyn, like a wandering spirit gaining energy from different spaces. Their classically-trained mezzo-soprano voice soars over raw, ethereal guitars; audio samples from Prospect Park – now almost unrecognisable – dapple across minimal percussion; organ, played by Maria BC’s dad at his church in Ohio, settle alongside tender, transformative harmonies. Mixing together different sessions, tracks recorded directly into their phone and samples collected over the years, Maria BC likens Hyaline to a “sonic collage.” It’s a project of patience and trusting the process.


12th – 14th May – The Great Escape, Brighton

18th – 21st Aug – Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons

Credit: Ulysses Ortega

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.