Muscle for the Wing marks the second full-length album from Seattle roots rockers The Maldives. Described as having a transcendent live show by indie radio touchstone , KEXP, their debut full-length, 2009’s Listen to the Thunder (Mt. Fuji, produced by Grammy Award-winner Kory Kruckenberg), was the culmination of years of playing together at every kind of gig imaginable, not a studio piece, but a faithful document of who The Maldives are as a live band. But this time around the band took a different approach. Muscle for the Wing (Spark & Shine Records), produced by Shawn Simmons (The Head and The Heart, Grand Hallway, Lemolo), brought the band’s assembled creativity together in a different way and explores their combined vision.
Singer/songwriter Jason Dodson is a secret cinephile and his love of film sets the stage for much of The Maldives’s music. It permeates everything from their cinematic arrangements to the characters that populate Dodson’s tales as they search for love, redemption, and a good time. The title track is a plaintive plea to keep a love close while the sparse ballad My Way questions whether it’s even there. The rockers on the album (Come On Come On, Raven Riley, It’s Like, You Know, Lately I) will get your hips swaying and your pulse pumping, but it’s the songs that complete the soundtrack (I’m Gonna Try, Go Back to Virginia, Blood On the Highway, Sallie May) that will transport you to another time and place altogether. This is where Dodson’s storytelling culminates into characters and places that blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction, the past and the present.
The Maldives’ music builds on a heritage of American rock & roll that’s at turns chivalrous and fist-pumping, steeped in tradition but unbound by expectations. It’s brought to life by a group of people bound to one another by ties deep and familial, each bringing just the right amount of talent and humor to the mix.
They have rocked the stages at SXSW, CMJ, Capitol Hill Block Party, Sasquatch and Bumbershoot. In 2010 they were featured on MTV’s $5 Cover directed by Lynn Shelton which spotlighted the best of Seattle’s music scene.