Though, I'm just me
And I found this girl. She took the stage alone, armed only with a great big acoustic guitar that seemed to dwarf her tiny frame. Then she opened her mouth and whispered out her first song, and the entire crowd went silent in awe. Her name was Maia Hirasawa, and until then she had been known to most as 'that other girl in Hello Saferide'. No longer. That November night in Glasgow she truly stepped out from the shadows and demanded attention. Hopefully this album will do the same to a much larger audience. Like her live performance, she eases us in slowly, with a breathy ballad that showcases her angelic voice superbly. She doesn't need a backing band or fancy production to massage her music – the girl sighs and boys swoon. It all seems so unbelievably effortless. And simple. Yet listen closely, and you'll hear the same type of smart, snappy lyrics that make her friend Annika Norlin so likeable. There are a lot of love songs on this album, but they're not old and schmaltzy. On the contrary, they're modern and moving, even featuring Myspace in the stellar "Mattis and Maia". Critics are already falling over themselves with praise for feel-good single "And I found this boy", and with good reason. Maia is possibly THE find of the year. Have a listen and you may soon find yourself rushing to join her swelling army of fans.
- Stacey Shackford