Gentlemen and Gentlewomen of the Vox Chaotica Council! It is that most glorious of days once again! FANDAY FRIIIIIIIIIDAAAAAAAAAAAY! In which I, your host, Cutter Videan, using way, too, many, commas, will tell you how I feel about the band Maybe Bear–a collaboration between two stellar ladies, Kiara and Natasia!
Maybe Bear is–at the basic level–a bluesy, folk indie rock band. They use your standard lineup, as long as you normally include things like banjo, harmonica, xylophone, and the fact that these two switch instruments for every song they play live (freaking awesome!). I had the immense pleasure of hearing them for the first time as the opener to one of The Darling Sounds' secret basement shows. [Literally in a basement, which is amazing because the majority of houses in Arizona don't have basements.] I'm going to make this easy for you: go listen to their cover of Teenage Dirtbag. So good, and it perfectly encapsulates their overall vibe.
But let's get the breakdown started, shall we?
Kiara sings, plays guitar, banjo and xylophone (did I mention how sick it is to have a xylophone), and sometimes plays drums/percussion. She's been a musician for about ten years now, and feels she would be completely lost without it. If you haven't clicked on the Teenage Dirtbag link above, there are two things you should know. One: Kiara has a beautiful, expressive voice with a bit of breathiness and the ability to add just the right amount of edge to really kick out the powerful lines... she makes me swoon. Two: we can't be friends until you click the link. Because I'm terminally shy in real life, I didn't talk with her much after the show, but from my slightly-creepy eavesdropping, I can confidently say she is amazingly down-to-earth, super nice, and just exudes positivity and warmth like no one I have ever met before.
Kiara's current abode is in Chelsea, NY, but she is an East Harlem girl at heart. She teaches 4th- and 5th-graders through a pretty nifty non-profit at the moment, with the long-term goal of becoming Miss Frizz from the Magic School Bus–and tending a small garden (when not shrinking elementary school kids so they can go see the world at the atomic level). A couple of random facts: her favourite smell is fresh laundry, she loves the name Augustin, and 6-year-old Kiara wanted to wash cars when she grew up. My favourite quote from her is in response to my question, "Who or what inspires your art?" She says: "Life, my friends and family all inspire me as a person. All the love I have and all the love I lost really makes me wanna sing." Kiara likes Sufjan Stevens, Mountain Goats, Metric, her two dogs: Fatty and Miko, and painting/doodling in her spare time. Her favourite drink is a strong cup of black coffee. The song I would describe Kiara with would be: The Fox, the Crow and the Cookie by mewithoutYou.
We interrupt this broadcast to let you know that Maybe Bear has been featured by The Blue Room NYC over the last few weeks! The video for the song they wrote–on the way to the basement show with The Darling Sounds–was just posted there this week! Now back to your regularly scheduled programming!
Natasia sings harmonies, plays guitar and drums/percussion. She plays guitar like a riot (only in the best possible way), sings like a bona fide badass, and is generally an amazing musician. I'm not even going to try and describe her, as her self-description is better than anything I could come up with: "A cartoon character." Except I will take a moment to say that she is truly delightful, extremely personable, hilarious and just a fanstastic human being. Her current homestead is in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where she grew up eating the best pierogies on the planet. Perhaps one day she will actually make the move out to the West, but only maybe. She works at Buzzfeed, doing lots of nerdy GIF-type things. A couple of random facts: to her, Amortentia would smell like clean laundry, burning firewood, and bacon, she likes the name Elias, and 6-year-old Natasia wanted to be a magician–no, a police officer–no a police artist, you know, the one sketching the suspects? This was born from her religious viewings of Bob Ross and her deep affinity for Buffy. In no way did this combination cause a maternal visit to the principal's office back in elementary school.
My favourite quote from her was in response to my question, "Who is your idol?" She says: "Maybe this will sound cliche, but my mom. She's been through everything and then some, but she raised three lanky kids to be independent, respectful people. I don't know how she's done it and continues to do it. I get a cold and immediately I'm 4 years old texting her for help and she’s always there for me." Natasia likes The Mountain Goats, Margot and the Nuclear So & So's, Metric (all about those M's, apparently), her cat T-Bone–whose belly is big and whose head is tiny with walrus whiskers, and doing awesome video things (for other bands, general editing, whatevs). As a self-proclaimed cold brew snob, I'll let you guess what her favourite drink is. Hint: it's cold brew, black. The song I would describe Natasia with would be: Jealous Enemies by Dark Captain Light Captain.
Ultimately, beyond everything I just said, there is one fact that truly makes these wonderful humans so amazing. If I may quote Natasia directly: "Potatoes. That is all."
PS - Jace out in Chicago, if you are reading this, know Maybe Bear really appreciates you.
tl;dr Go listen to Maybe Bear! Kiara sings and plays xylophone like your perfect imaginary indie girl but is infinitely cooler. Natasia plays guitar and sings harmonies with more passion than all the "popular" musicians out there. They are amazing people and it is my honour to know them in the small way I do.