Q&A: Maple Glider

The project of Tori Zietsch, Maple Glider is the outlet for emotional outpouring and incredibly deep personal reflections. Drawing on folk intimacies and singer-songwriter traits, Maple Glider has just shared one of the best albums of the year so far. With a voice that is both haunting and beautiful, To Enjoy is the Only Thing is Maple Glider at her very best. We caught up with Tori ahead of the release to talk about putting the album together and signing to Partisan Records.

Hi Tori, how’s your year been so far?

It has been really busy! My housemate adopted a puppy and her energy is mega. We live with a very sassy cat named Coriander and the vibe of them together has been pretty funny. I’ve spent most of my time working on releasing this album, whilst squeezing in other things. I worked at a bagel shop for a total of 3 weeks. I quit my bar job. Started working as a PA a couple of days a week. Saw my mum for the first time in a year and a half! Swam in the sea. Made blackberry pie with my lover. Moved house. Broke down a few times. Started playing live shows again! Had some long overdue embraces with people I love. Magic.

Before we chat about anything else – tell us more about the moniker Maple Glider.

When I started this project I really just wanted to have fun performing and releasing music. My songs are very intimate but my personality is very daggy. I acknowledge Sugar Gliders as the main inspiration behind my name. I think they are adorable animals and I love the way they glide through the air. It’s badass.

Your debut album “To Enjoy is the Only Thing” sounds phenomenal. How long did it take you to put it all together?

That is very kind of you, thank you. When I started recording with Tom, we didn’t know it was going to be an album. I kept adding phone memos of songs I’d written to our little private playlist, and we would work through them. Tom ended up asking me if recording an album was something I wanted to do, and I think my response was a casual “Of course” but on the inside I was screaming “F*CK YEEEEES”. I wasn’t working with Pieater (my home label) at this stage, but both Tom Iansek and my (now) manager, Tom Fraser were really generous with their time and energy in helping me to make sure I recorded an album I would love. The songs were mostly written over the space of one to two years whilst I was living away from home. The recording of the album itself was maybe two weeks in total.

You wrote the album while you were living in Brighton. How did the seaside town influence your music?

I’d been travelling through India when I decided to move to Brighton. My relationship with my ex was in a pretty bad place and I kind of felt like I needed to plant myself somewhere for a while to start working on music again. It was a pretty spontaneous move. I’d never been to England before and I really knew very little about Brighton. I got there at the onset of Winter, so it was pretty quiet, haha. I focused a lot of my energy into writing songs, and I was lucky to see a lot of great shows whilst I was there which was very motivating. I also just think being away from home for an extended period of time really forced me to process some things I had been able to avoid dealing with before.

How do you think your music has helped you to navigate the world around you?

Because of the religion I was raised in, I was discouraged to pursue a career, especially in music. My passion for music was so strong that I began refusing to participate in the religion in my early teens. I spent close to a decade making songwriting and performing my focus before I decided to take my first break to go travelling. I lasted less than a year before I came back to music. It was then that I wrote this album, haha. Writing is so important for my brain. It helps me to navigate my emotions, process my experiences, understand my relationships and clear my head. It has connected me to so many beautiful people and given me so many great experiences, but it has also really challenged me.

Are there any particular tracks on the album that mean more to you than others?

I like them too much as a collective to choose one over the other… but I am pretty fond of the B-side of the record.

“To Enjoy is the Only Thing” offers a huge wave of catharsis, is that what it felt like when writing it?

Absolutely. All of the songs on the album were written from a deep emotional place. The purpose of writing them was to identify and acknowledge feelings I’d been holding onto and begin moving through them.

The album is out via Partisan Records, a label that has such an incredible roster. How does it feel to be part of their legacy of amazing artists?

I think I might have to text my manager again and just double check that it’s real because I’m still processing.

Who would you say is the biggest fan of your work?

Probably my mum, who pretty much doubles as PR via her instagram account.

And finally, if we asked you to take us on a road trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take us?

Just somewhere we could go for a walk and point out all the cute mushrooms and pick blackberries or chase weird little fish and look for pipis like I do with my loves.

Thanks so much for chatting to us! Appreciate your time.

Thank you beautiful people!

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Q&A: Maple Glider
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