Formerly of alt-folk band Low Chimes, Maja Lena’s solo moniker is the affectionate nickname given to her by the Swedish half of her family. She now brings us new material forged in the fires of fear and self doubt, brought on by setting out on her own musically after years of being part of a collaborative effort. Since her teens, for 15 years with Low Chimes (and various iterations of the band), Maja Lena experienced some of the highs and lows that the music world has to offer. Low Chimes enjoyed exposure performing live sessions on both Marc Riley’s show on BBC Radio 6 Music, and Loose Ends with Clive Anderson on BBC Radio 4. They also toured extensively, and played at numerous festivals such as Glastonbury, Greenman, Festival No.6 and Secret Garden Party.
Her debut solo album The Keeper tells haunting yet bold tales of endings and new beginnings. Driven by Marianne’s unique vocal delivery and depth of emotion, this record teaches of life challenges and lessons, existentialism, escapism, musings of alternate realms and of our relationships with time. It tells of loss, the tracks ‘Antares’ and ‘Old Friend Night’ a dedication/ode to friends experiencing suffering, grief and tragedy. Marianne also reflects on the journey of growing up and getting older, finding solace in simpler things and in the mundane. Of learning to become better friends with yourself, and learning to let go, alter your expectations and accept things as they are. These themes are reflected in her relationship with and love of nature, such as in ‘Avalanche’. Here a personal experience and era in life coming to an end is metaphorically mirrored in an unsuccessful hike up a mountain.
Released via Bristol imprint Chiverin Records in the Summer of 2021, The Keeper was made Album of the Day on BBC Radio 6 Music, building on widespread support at the station as well as a Maida Vale session and plays at Radio 1. She returns to Loose Ends to perform her solo material on BBC Radio 4 in September ahead of a UK tour supporting Plastic Mermaids in October.
“An amazing new name, it’s a super immersive and arresting track …absolutely adore this” Sian Eleri, BBC R1
“You’re going to like this a lot… it’s dreamy and it’s ethereal” Chris Hawkins, BBC 6 Music
“An incredible artist. I really like how emotive this yet equally just as haunting.” Gemma Bradley, BBC R1
“A beautiful offering rooted in her lived experiences. A work that is awash with inner strength” CLASH
“textural and transportive” The Most Radicalist