The Maldives – Warm and Inviting Sounds

The Maldives have played a plethora of shows from SXSW to Sasquatch

to touring across the nation. And on Wednesday, Oct. 10, they’re making their way back to Bellingham with a set at Western Washington University’s Underground Coffeehouse (and to the Green Frog on Nov. 3). Some may remember The Maldives involvement in the WWU EndFair two years ago where they had a marvelous set. Arriving back to campus, this upcoming show will definitely have an intimate feel.

The Western show will be a prelude to the latest release by the band, titled Muscle For The Wing. The Maldives have been playing music together for over six years; they released an EP in 2006, had a highly acclaimed album released in 2009 titled Listen To The Thunder, and Oct. 16 will mark the release of their next album. Band size has varied throughout the years but the current essential formula includes Jason Dodson, Jesse Bonn, Tim Gadbois, Chris Warner, Kevin Barrans, Faustine Hudson and Adam H. Billy. The group met through various paths. Jason and Jesse bonded over punk band t-shirts. Jesse was close friends with Tim. Time and Chris went to Western (WWU ALUMNI ALERT). And so on and so forth. As their musical connections are across the board, their hometowns vary as well. Jason was born in Virginia and wandered to the West Coast thanks to UW and its film program. Chris is from Spokane, Adam from Bainbridge, Jesse and Time from Seattle, Kevin from Snohomish and Faustine is originally from Nevada. All in all, The Maldives are currently proudly repping Northwest and the region is proud of them in return.

The Maldives create music that makes you feel a part of a community, yet are open to everyone. The warm and welcoming aspect of their music is undeniable; apparent after just one listen. The Maldives are storytellers, yetanother attribute to their relatable appeal. They share tales of love, loss, family and triumph. Like a pair of jeans that have just been broken in to that perfect feel, The Maldives exude that same confident ease.

Often referred to as Alt-rock, The Maldives’ music definitely has a certain feel yet it defies exact genre classification. As Jason Dodson explained, “Labels are like salt. You put salt on food to make it easier to follow. Labels were created for other people to feel more comfortable.” If forced to classify themselves, The Maldives are self-described as an American band. Not to be mistaken with Americana, the term American band is meant to relate to America as a nation with a melting pot of different people.

“We use genre, but we don’t prescribe to genre. We take a certain label and work within that, use it, and move past it. We are anything we want to be.” And listeners can take comfort in that freedom, utilizing The Maldives’ music in any mood, occasion, and reason. There is no specified Maldives genre, just as there is no specified Maldives listener. We can all just dive in and explore.

The Maldives will also return to Bellingham on Nov. 3 for a 21+ show at the Green Frog with Kithkin. Essentially, between Bellingham and Seattle shows, there are many upcoming opportunities to see this talented group that should not be forgotten. Citing Kithkin as extremely nice kids and “like something out of a Wes Anderson movie”; the collaboration will be memorable. The Kithkin collaboration is due to Doe Bay Festival, a one-of-a-kind music festival which takes place each summer in Orcas Island. The Maldives are in fact the only band who has played for every year of Doe Bay Fest since its creation.

As The Maldives have blossomed as a band, their experiences and opportunities have grown. In the early days, Jason was the primary point man for booking, managing, and song writing. Now, the entire group has the opportunity to devote time to focus on crafting their sound with a steady support system working on the behind the scenes. All of their experiences have led to gaining friends and colleagues in the music industry. Jason remarks, “We are lucky to be out meeting great people who happen to be in bands. It is a fortunate coincidence to be surrounded by like minded people.”

Catch The Maldives at the Underground Coffeehouse on Oct. 10th with Wyatt Parks and the Mute Choir, and at the Green Frog on Nov. 3 with Kithkin. For more information, check out www. facebook.com/themaldivesband