Today I’m excited to bring everyone a great new single from indie pop-rock duo, Maeve & Quinn, called “Jeweler’s Row.” With a sound that fits somewhere in the same realm as Maggie Rogers, Snail Mail, and Soccer Mommy, this duo makes breathtaking vocal hooks and harmonies look effortless. The song comes from the band’s forthcoming LP, Another Door, that releases on September 8th. I was also able to catch up with this talented artist for a brief interview below.
Where does the name maeve & quinn come from?
Maeve & Quinn are our middle names: Maris (Maeve) and Bryce (Quinn). When deciding on our name, we wanted something that would reflect us as a duo at the core of the sound and our band; and, that would reflect the importance of cultural heritage and influences in our music, Irish (on our Dad’s side) for one.
You’re both classically trained musicians and have an impressive musical background – how long have you two been writing songs together and what is that process like?
There’s always been collaboration between us, but immersing ourselves in co-songwriting really took off in 2015, spending the better part of a year apart (between Alaska, our home state; and Ireland, where our Dad’s family is from), and then reuniting in Dublin for a few months. Improvisation is at the heart of the process. Our songwriting and composition take shape out of the freedom and exploration of the improvisatory space. Maris will bring a song she’s started writing on guitar to a rehearsal, and Bryce will explore the addition of piano or violin, and vice versa. Other times we come into a rehearsal and play around with different key signatures or lyric prompts and see what takes off musically. The songwriting process, in terms of bringing lyrics and vocals together, has become more and more of a dialogue as we continue to work together. Being twins, and having witnessed each other practicing instruments seriously since childhood, we also have a keen sense and memory for one another’s prior “song banks,” in terms of integrating riffs or verses that re-emerge over time.
Can you share more specifically about the songwriting/production process for the single “Jeweler’s Row”?
Maris brought guitar riffs and lyrics to Bryce, who was drawn to the piano for both rhythmic and melodic interplay. Our vocal blood harmonies heard on the choruses are characteristic of other songs on our upcoming LP as well. The structuring of the outro came into full form in rehearsal process with friend and bassist Kitt Lyles, for a headline show we played in Chicago just before the pandemic lockdown. And true to the spirit of a record made during the height of the pandemic, drummer Quin Kirchner developed just the right palette and vibe (drum tracks sent back and forth over email !) to amplify the song’s anthemic quality. Further to the collaborative aspect — and again, to the various changes in timing and approach affected by the pandemic — we first began recording the song in our hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, with engineer Kurt Riemann, and then finished recording and mixing the song in Chicago with Nick Broste.
We’re excited to hear what’s next for maeve & quinn! Can you tell us more about the album and how “Jeweler’s Row” fits within the overall narrative of the project?
Our first full-length album, Another Door, is an affirmation of possibilities, especially when the future feels unclear. It’s anchored in blood harmonies, lyrical melodies, and dynamic interplay between the two of us on guitar, violin, voice and piano. The album is an intimate conversation between lifelong friends – how we’d describe our relationship as twin sisters. We wrote and recorded the album in Chicago during the height of the pandemic, and we’d call the sound a genre-bending mix of alt rock, pop, and folk.
Another Door has a cumulative effect – each song builds its own landscape, and the through-line is a feeling of openness evocative of our upbringing in the mountainous environment of Alaska. The free, live quality of improvisation also makes its way into our songwriting, an extension of our relationship as twin sisters – our songs are fluid in memory between past and present, layered in perspective. Our friends and stand-out Chicago musicians Matt Ulery (bass) and Quin Kirchner (drums) provide a dynamic rhythm section that elevates the arc of the album, which was recorded and mixed by Nick Broste, and mastered by Justin Perkins.
There’s a sense of inquiry, revealing, and ultimately self-embrace throughout the album. The more you listen, the more layers you’ll hear. Our lead single “Jeweler’s Row” speaks to deep identification found in a new friendship [“…you won’t find some great dividing line”], holding and being held in one’s fullness of experience, especially at the lowest points –“…you told me sadness is a fine way to be.” The song is inspired by a walk around Chicago’s Loop with a new friend. The song leads with our piano and electric guitar, and then rises into a melodic chorus that later expands into an anthemic, full-band outro.
Through Another Door we seek to bridge the closest distance to the farthest, moving between inner and outer emotional spaces — knowing something new is needed, and reaching forward.
Is there anything more you’d like to say about this release?
We’re really excited to introduce listeners to the sound world of our upcoming album Another Door through our first single “Jeweler’s Row”. It’s one of our favorite songs to play live at shows because we can feel the energy of the audience rise to meet us as we sing the chorus in particular – there’s a familiar, shared experience in a song dedicated to feeling deeply seen in a friendship. We’ll be releasing more singles and music videos for the album over the course of this Summer, leading up to the full album release on September 8 – so we encourage folks to check in regularly on our instagram (@maeveandquinnmusic) for updates.