Maple Glider: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.
Tori Zietsch, aka Maple Glider, is in her Australian home surrounded by her bandmates and friends. Comforting landscape paintings cover the walls: Tori's first vinyl album, Melanie's 1971 album Gather Me, hangs alongside the pictures. She fingerpicks her guitar and sings "Mama It's Christmas," the closing track to her debut album, To Enjoy Is the Only Thing. As she sings the words: "Oh it's Christmas time again / Where is my brother / Where is my friend / Mama it's Christmas time, again / Doesn't he know I've got ribbons to wrap him in." Looking at the camera's wide shot, I sense her watching bandmates and those landscape paintings morph into a warm, comforting blanket.
Tori grew up steeped — and trapped — in a restrictive, religious home. Music was her way out. She was part of a duo known as Seavera, and when that disbanded, she moved to Brighton in the U.K. She wrote a stockpile of solo music and came back to Melbourne with what she describes as a SoundCloud packed with demo tunes. I first became enchanted by the second song here, "As Tradition." It's the first single she put out as Maple Glider, and it speaks to the loss of identity in both relationships and religion. On the lighter side, she refers to her talented band as "The Yeeehawwws" because they sing ultra country versions of her songs during rehearsals. There may come a time when levity becomes part of Maple Glider; for now, these heavy tunes, packed with thoughtful words and sung so longingly, are here to enjoy.
TINY DESK TEAM
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