The enchanting vocalist Maija Sofia shares her gorgeous track "The Wife of Michael Cleary," a minimalistic instrumentation layered with Sofia's blissful vocals. Written from the perspective of Bridget Cleary, a woman burned (literally) by her husband because he thought she had been possessed by a changeling, the release sees Sofia inhabit the character and allow her voice to be heard.
With folk-inspired guitars and soothing, delicate melodies, Sofia crafts a narrative for the misrepresented and silenced woman. Its tenderness is hauntingly captivating, both a reminder that although women's voices used to be (and sometimes still are) silenced, other women can help and encourage their voices to be heard. Its simplistic formula is winning. This is a track in which to invest your time.
Telling us about what inspired the track, Majia Sofia says: "I'm really interested in folklore, folk history and the strange shadowy underbellies of Ireland that exist concurrent to the sanitised Guinness and Shamrocks version. This is one of the strangest and saddest anecdotes in Irish history, the story disturbed me and I found myself working it into a song almost unconsciously."
"The Wife of Michael Cleary" also features vocals from Ronan Kealy (AKA Junior Brother). Both singers are compelling and emotive. This (may or may not) be tear-inducing. The track is the second single from Maija Sofia's debut album Bath Time, released on November 22 via Trapped Animal Records and Cargo Records. Despite its often heavy subject matter, the album uplifts its listeners with subdued accounts of real women, including Edie Sedgwick and Mary of Nazareth. Observing the suffering and real pain of female life, the debut album from this Irish lady is breathtaking folk magic.