Far North Queensland singer-songwriter Maggie Slater’s debut EP, In Bloom, showcases not only an artist on the rise, but one in full control and confidence of her craft. Drawing from a key few genres such as folk, dream-pop and rock, Maggie’s maturity as a storyteller shines through on this collection of eight beautifully written and performed songs.
Channeling bedroom ruminations akin to Julia Jacklin and Stella Donnelly, In Bloom plays as an open book. Listeners are given an insight to the musician – there is an intimacy to the release and you can’t help feeling that you are getting to know Maggie Slater.
It is hard to believe, given the maturity of songwriting, that In Bloom is Maggie’s debut offering. She started recording it during her final year of high school and wrapped it up not long after graduation. In fact, the majority of the songs from the album were penned from the ages of 14 to 17. The young musician has always had an infinity with music though and it shows. There is family video footage of her singing a song she wrote for her brother when she was only seven. From the age of 15 she has been busking regularly on the weekends around her hometown of Cairns, earning her stripes and garnering the attention of the movers and shakers of the industry, this quickly evolved into bookings for local gigs.
The tracks for In Bloom were produced by The Middle East’s Mark Myers. Mark is a formidable force in the Queensland music industry, so when the time came to choose a producer, there was no other choice. His expertise in the studio helped Maggie develop her ideas and shape them into the songs she envisioned. The EP includes an impressive list of guests, including Tristan Barton and Simon McMenamin (The McMenamins) who were brought into the recording process to add their flare to drum and string sections. “They are both so incredibly talented,” reflects Maggie. “It’s such a privilege to have them be a part of this. For backing vocalists, I had some friends come in and help out. It was a super fun experience to get to hang out in the studio with them and I’m so glad I got to include my friends in the project.”
It is about the way that music resonates and touches people that’s important to Maggie. “I’ve always felt everything really deeply,” she confesses. “I just try my best to be as emotionally candid as possible. In terms of shaping my music, it’s the people who come up to me after a show and tell me how a certain song really hit home for them that has the most impact.”
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