International critics are raving about Maia Vidal’s debut full-length studio album, God Is My Bike. The 24-year-old chanteuse has quickly won the hearts of fans with her majestic indie pop-folk songs that are lyrical gems where the old-world meets dreams.
Recorded in Barcelona, God Is My Bike features 11 original compositions penned by Maïa Vidal and a cover of Rancid’s “It’s Quite Alright,” written by Tim Armstrong. Vidal’s debut album draws upon an eclectic array of influences and enchants listeners with its European melodies mixed with American songwriting styles. Vidal plays most of the instruments herself—including violin, accordion and toy instruments—and her sultry voice is the centerpiece of each composition. She co-produced the album with Giuliano Cobelli (who also contributes percussion and trumpet), Alberto Perez on double bass, and Marc Ribot lends his brilliance on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo and electric mandolin.
Vidal’s arrangements harness a candid honesty set within a fairytale dreamscape. Themes of flirtation, spirituality and heartbreak are conveyed along with “a spoon full of sugar,” says Vidal. “I wanted to create an alternate reality with this album, showing the vocabulary of an emotional transformation of a 20-something woman set within a magical sonic and visual world.”
Vidal collaborated with director Joana Colomar to create a stunning video for one of God Is My Bike‘s standout tracks, “Follow Me,” a composition loosely based on a Brothers Grimm tale. “Follow Me” is currently being used in a TV commercial for Ikea (in Greece), Has been nominated as best pop video for the UK Music Video Awards and audio uploads of the song by fans on YouTube have surpassed more than 750,000 views.
When asked about the title of her debut album, Vidal explains, ”It was the middle of the night, and I was riding my bike from a friend’s house in Barcelona. I felt everything was perfect. I was writing a lot at that time, and I’d get this feeling on my bike—if I were religious, it would have been a religious experience for me. One day I woke up and my bike was gone. Barcelona is the bike theft capital of the world. Those bike rides were ostensibly my vessel of how I connected with wonderment. When my bike was no longer around, I felt cut off to the feeling of the infinite. So, I realized that to me, God Is my bike.”
In 2011, God Is My Bike was nominated for the IMPALA Awards (the pan-European, “Indie Album of the Year” award), alongside albums by Sigur Ros, Little Dragon, M83 and Adele. That same year, Vidal was commissioned by the clothing brand Desigual to write a song for their collaboration with celebrated designer Christian Lacroix—the track landed in an internet commercial that was used by Desigual across Europe.
“One of the most melodious albums of this Fall” - Cosmopolitan (France)
“Simple yet twisted, playful and delicate, [Maïa Vidal's] brief pop masterpieces don’t evoke any specific territory and don’t burden themselves with any roots.” - Les Inrockuptibles (FR)
“Playful confident start from US-born, Franco-German-Japanese artiste… Combines heart-on-sleeve honesty, deceptively simple writing and tender vocals.” - Uncut (UK)
“Maïa Vidal is part-French, part-Japanese-American and makes music as diverse as her background.” - PRI “The World”(US)