An intimate and sweetly stirring inner reckoning, Maiden King’s “One Days” aches with warmth and tenderness as the Chicago-based artist invites us deep into his world – one full of conflict, conviction, and smoldering, seductive sound.
for fans of Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Mappe Of, Novo Amor
Stream: “One Days” – Maiden King
It’s a song about my tendency to glorify the person I thought I could (or should) be, at the expense of seeing myself fully for who I am now.
It’s all too easy to fall into patterns of living for the future, rather than being present in the now – even though now is all we have. Sometimes we become so laser-focused on tomorrow, that we forget to focus on today. How many “one days…” have we dreamed about? One day I’ll be happier, one day I’ll be fitter, one day I’ll be a better person to the ones I love. Dreams are just dreams unless acted on, and you can’t change your life if you’re dwelling in a sea of what-ifs.
Maiden King’s latest single is an enchanting declaration to stop dwelling and start doing: An intimate and sweetly stirring inner reckoning, “One Days” aches with warmth and tenderness as the Chicago-based artist invites us deep into his world – one full of conflict, conviction, and smoldering, seductive sound.
one day i’ll feel bigger than this ocean in me
whose ugly unspokenness cannot be redeemed
and all of this always plays on repeat
with all of my “one days…”
that i’ve been deceived to accept
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “One Days,” the third and final single taken off Maiden King’s self-produced debut album, Who Else Were We Supposed to Become? (out December 1, 2023).
Following this fall’s releases “Young Country” and “Free,” “One Days” sees the Midwestern singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer wearing his heart one his sleeve as he holds a mirror up to his soul, exposing all his human cracks while treating listeners to a breathtaking, soulful serenade full of deep, rich harmonies and spellbinding, head-turning sonics.
i could’ve sworn that this year’d
be different in the light of the last
the days move so slowly and the weeks move so fast
and all of those mondays living through a mask
with all of my old ways begging me to answer:
“why don’t you ever learn?”
“My joke has been that this is a folk song refracted through a lo-fi beats lens through the ears of a stupid talented jazz drummer and then finally shot out of a dark-ambient canon towards Hail to the Thief mountain,” says Jake Hawrylak, the mastermind behind Maiden King. Hawrylak has previously been in the bands Sedgewick and Sunjacket, both of which have received coverage on Atwood Magazine; his new solo moniker, which he introduced to the world earlier this year, pulls from his own identity (King is his mother’s maiden name), as well as a book by author Robert Bly and renowned psychotherapist Marion Woodman.
For Hawrylak, “One Days” is as much a deeply personal and introspective journey as it is a musical marvel.
“It’s a song about my tendency to glorify the person I thought I could (or should) be, at the expense of seeing myself fully for who I am now,” he explains. “It’s about the cumulative effect of mantra-izing those “one day I’ll be ___” sentiments without ever actually digging in and doing anything to make that dream a reality. The chorus question ‘why don’t you ever learn?‘ seemed like an opposition to wrench some action out of the narrator and its later transformation into ‘why don’t we let it burn?’ came from the recognition that change for me hasn’t always been a pretty process. The fire that forms when we really let go of things holding us back can be awe-inspiring, but it’s still a dangerous and scary thing and I think it’s important to give it that respect.”
now and then i think of all that
i’ve offered in the name of a dream
and how quickly it all turned in the face of disease
and all of it’s so strange, what we pawn to believe
that none of us can change a goddamn thing
so we sing:
“why don’t you ever learn?”
“I’ve always been a fan of music that surprises the listener,” he continues. “I like things that are willing to bask in the imperfections, or ‘incorrectness,’ that to me defines us as humans (sometimes even more so than the strengths we perceive). I also like music that transforms and is willing to end up somewhere quite different from where it started. Even though I always knew I wanted the song to end in the parallel minor key, the dramatic effect of that key change was still a bit of a happy accident.”
“My guitarist and I spent the better part of an evening crafting a hundred small sounds from things we found lying around my studio and from reamping a lot of the song before it. The real ‘aha’ moment came when we really let the floor fall out on the track and let things come to a screeching halt to really highlight the space around some of those sounds. It’s supposed to mark a shift towards a darker middle third of the record and is one of my favorite moments.”
Maiden King’s voice is deep, his songwriting sincere and stunning, his arrangements dreamy and inviting.
“One Days” is a captivating, cathartic release of visceral emotion and tension bubbling up from within. It’s a song full of radiant and rousing resolve, but also one that doesn’t shy away from the brutal truths of this reality: That it’s so easy to get sucked into those “one days” again and again, and that we’ll be shackled to our dreams unless we let them go.
It’s a provocative notion, and one worth chewing on – especially with such a moving, moody soundtrack for accompaniment. Stream Maiden King’s “One Days” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for his full-length debut: Who Else Were We Supposed to Become? is out December 1, 2023!
i’ve always been a good liar
never been soft on keeping score
now and then i grow tired
and yet it all sits so ignored
so why don’t we let it burn?
Stream: “One Days” – Maiden King
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© Cory DeWald
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