Maija Sofia – The Wife of Michael Cleary is available @ Apple Music.
by Walter Price
A pop song about a tragic name/crime forgotten to history? Probably not an ordinary top-of-the-charts crowd-pleaser but Irish singer-songwriter Maija Sofia isn’t your ordinary writer/performer. In the past five or so years she’s dropped weighty tales that are fair parts fatalism, folk, gothic, and etherial verging on the darkly whimsical and supernatural. Shadowy thoughts that are still intact with the just-released track, “The Wife of Michael Cleary”.
If you’re not familiar with Mr. Cleary and the nature of his inconceivable-cum-macabre crime, let me give you the shortened version. On 15 March 1895, the Irishman, set his wife Bridget on fire for her ungodly crime on church and society. Pray tell…Mister Cleary thought his wife had been abducted by fairies and subsequently been replaced by a changeling….his bizarre defense that he, in fact, had not killed his beloved wife but an unearthly facsimile. A strange and ugly moment in human history, steeped in religion and perhaps mysticism that will now be brought back into the light by this unwavering single.
Over the years, Maija Sofia has worn her journeys and deepening intellect in her music. And I’ve enjoyed musing from time to time about her releases, following her growing social conscience, stout feminism and broadening need to give strength and voice to the near-forgotten. With her recent singles, Sofia is certainly cementing herself as an artist folks should give a chance. Sure, she doesn’t produce material ready for mainstream pop radio, but neither does Aldous Harding, Comfort Creature, or Agouti…yet, we’re listening.
“The Wife of Michael Cleary” is from Sofia’s forthcoming album ‘Bath Time”. Which is expected on 22 November 2019 and available for order now at Trapped Animal Records. As you place your order, stream this track and another recent single “The Glitter”, below.
And make sure to add it to your favorite playlist. We have, at the GTC WKND SPIN.
The Wife of Michael Cleary
+ The Glitter
Artist/article cover photo by Justin Young
Features by Ronan Kealy [Junior Brother]
Recorded by Chris Barry
“The album name comes from the ritual of daily bathing, a whimsical place where most of the lyrics were written. The album deals with the ways in which women’s voices, stories, and desires have been sidelined and misrepresented throughout history. From Edie Sedgwick to Bridget Cleary, Sofia’s songs imagine a world in which silenced women speak back.” –Trapped Animal Records