Music Editor Isabelle Porter reviews Maple Glider’s new album, I Get Into Trouble, praising its whimsy and lyrical frankness.

Written by Isabelle Porter
Music Editor
Images by Maple Glider

Australian singer-songwriter Tori Zietsch has returned with a second studio album under her stage moniker, Maple Glider. On the cover of I Get Into Trouble, Zietsch stands in metallic platform boots on a fallen tree in the middle of a lush forest, hands clasped in prayer and gaze directed towards the viewer. The image reflects the aesthetic duality of Maple Glider: an earthiness juxtaposed with kitschy playfulness.

The image reflects the aesthetic duality of Maple Glider: an earthiness juxtaposed with kitschy playfulness

Like her 2021 debut, To Enjoy Is The Only Thing, this sophomore album is comprised of indie folk tunes ruminating on longing, childhood, and religion. Opening track ‘Do You’ is sonically reminiscent of Zietsch’s first album, though the second song, ‘Dinah’, finds her embracing a pluckier indie-pop sound. In this catchy single, Zietsch examines her relationship to the eponymous Biblical character, and how the story known as ‘Dinah Gets Into Trouble’ reflects a legacy of violence towards women. ‘I met Dinah at the Bible study / When I was eight years old / She was just a story to them / But to me she was more than they told,’ Zietsch muses.

The album further unfolds with ‘Two Years’, a piano track with a groovy bassline. The song oscillates between tempos, the percussion fading in and out as Zietsch sings about a relationship past its expiration date: ‘It is cold where I’m laying / And where I’m laying is right beside you,’ she cleverly remarks. ‘FOMO’, meanwhile, calls to mind the wistfulness of 1960’s Jane Birkin and Marianne Faithfull. While the song’s musicality reflects the spiralling self-consciousness of its lyrics, it falls a bit flat as a whole.

‘Don’t Kiss Me’ is the album’s sonic and emotional apex. The tracks unfolds in a thematic parallel to ‘Dinah’, dissecting the emotions tied to a traumatic event. Zietsch’s vocals are visceral as she confesses: ‘Sometimes my own body / Doesn’t feel like my body / But definitely don’t kiss me.’ An accompaniment of electric guitars, drums, and background vocals build alongside her as she repeats this refrain. The result is moving and Meisner-like rather than monotonous.

The result is moving and Meisner-like rather than monotonous

Songs ‘You At The Top Of The Driveway’ and ‘For You And All The Songs We Loved’ weigh feelings of nostalgia and longing in an anecdotal lyrical style sure to appeal to fans of Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens. On the former track, Zietsch’s voice dreamily cascades over vivid imagery: tadpoles in the rain, a mother selling cosmetic products, a purple dress. The track’s musical simplicity serves it well, allowing for pregnant pauses and a frankness of emotion.

On the other hand, ‘For You And All The Songs We Loved’ digs into the pain of a disintegrating relationship. Unlike ‘Two Years’, the subjects of this song are less able to slink through these hardships. Sonically and lyrically, the song conveys a candid sense of exhaustion.

Zietsch’s voice dreamily cascades over vivid imagery

While much of the album is driven by a folky acoustic guitar, ‘For You And All The Songs We Loved’ stands out for its electronic stings. Bold choices like this complement Zietsch’s lyrical style. The whimsicality of her album’s visual aesthetic, highlighted musically through songs like ‘Dinah’, set Maple Glider apart in the indie folk genre. It would be exciting to see Zietsch continue to experiment with different sounds on her next album.

All in all, I Get Into Trouble is a great listen for the autumn season. Zietsch’s songs are quietly devastating, with the breeziness of ocean air and the warmth of a cup of tea.

Rating: 7.5/10

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