We all have a different idea of what it means to be an artistic, free spirit, but singer/songwriter Maya Solovéy checks off all of the boxes. Her life began its unusual course when her parents uprooted the family to follow an Ashram to rural, Western Massachusetts. From there, she spent her teens travelling, picking up and moving on when the mood struck, paving a whirlwind path through Ecuador, Spain, Asia and New Zealand. At age 19, she made her way to NYC with her first EP in hand, and though she’s called the city home ever since, the rambling spirit never left her, and when jazz musician and arranger Bob Belden introduced her to Bossa Nova and Brazilian music, naturally, she had to head to Brazil to learn Portuguese.
In 2007, Solovéy struck up a creative relationship with multi-Grammy winning producer Bassy Bob Brockmann, and in the years that followed, she worked with him to release Maya Solovéy and 2012’s EP, Forte. For her latest project, Blue Heart, she and Brockmann recruited a few members of MGMT, James Richardson and Hank Sullivant, and Maya’s longtime drummer Robert “Chicken” Burke, of Parliament Funkadelic fame. She may be based in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats now, but you can bet that travel bug will come knocking soon, and she’ll be off on another worldwide tour.
Today Elmore is premiering “Better,” a track from Solovéy’s upcoming release. Though she is known to perform in different tongues—her 2011 self-titled album features recording in three languages— “Better” is a track in English that quietly encompasses heartache and hope. Solovéy has a remarkable range and impressive command, bending her vocals in breathy sighs one line and earthy and low intonations the next. With understated instrumentation, from the plaintive flit of piano to the lightest touch of acoustic guitar, the track is ethereal but personal, as if Solovéy is whispering the lyrics to you alone. Solovéy tells us of the track, “This song came out of the fire and ashes, so to speak. Just when everything seems hopeless and the future dark and obscured, that is the moment to remember… that it will get better. This song was a reminder to myself, and a crystallization of all the things that I truly know, but perhaps was unwilling to admit to myself at the moment. But then I remember that I know better. And that I—we—can be better.”