Welcome to Almost Famous, a weekly segment where we ask up-and-coming queer musicians some not so hard-hitting questions about music and life and maybe even convince them to share photos of their pets. Get to know intimate details about your new favorite artist or band before they hit the Big Time and become too famous for us to interview for real.
Header by Rory Midhani
meh, the solo project of Charlottesville based (for now) singer-songwriter Maeve Hyland, is a fairly recent development, not quite as close to fame as other acts that have appeared in Almost Famous. I couldn’t resist featuring it anyway; I find everything about meh’s brand of lo-fi DIY – from the raw voice and hooky, acoustic twang, to the at-home photography and scratchy bare bones demos – to be utterly charming. You might too.
How would you describe your music?
Oh gosh I am the worst at answering this question. Right now it’s kind of all over the place, but the majority of it definitely has a lo-fi, DIY vibe to it, with a hint of folk.
What instruments do you play?
I started taking piano lessons way young (side note: I am really terrible at piano) and played saxophone/clarinet through high school. A kind quasi-stranger gave me a guitar sophomore year of high school and I bought a uke the year after.
Which song would you most like our readers to hear?
Probably “What I’m Told.” I’m still figuring out my sound, but I think this is the direction it’s heading in.
Hear more tracks on Soundcloud.
What were the first and last records you bought?
The first album I bought for myself was Weezer’s Blue in 6th grade. I just bought Local Natives’ new album, Hummingbird and Squinch Owl’s Homeward Bound. It’s really great: the perfect length and no gimmicks, just a few instrumental tracks and a lovely voice.
What inspires you to write?
It’s mostly just therapeutic. You can tell by the sound quality of the song how frustrated I felt at the time. Like I recorded “Almost no. 2” with my junky Mac microphone, because I needed to get it out and didn’t want to set up any equipment. The whole song, from first lyrics to final edit, took me 15 minutes to do. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a little sloppy, but that’s what I like about it. It’s just raw and in the moment, you know? I’ve been pushing myself to record immediately after writing a song. If I let it sit too long it loses something.
What do you get up to when you’re not making music?
I excel at being an in-between twenty-something. Just quit my job as a pizza maker and am shipping out into the world again. If things work out, this summer will be filled with farming, cooking and being merry.
CDs, MP3s or vinyl?
Vinyl all the way, but unfortunately it’s not very travel-friendly. Someday if I’m ever settled and have money I’d like to get a nice collection going on.
When you’re super famous what will be the name of your autobiography?
What was the last book you read?
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?
I saw Jeff Mangum last winter. Stick with me, but I’m going to use an adjective that is usually reserved for flower children, and call it magical. We saw him after the show and it was like seeing a unicorn.
Do you have any pets?
I have two cats. Boca hates everything, especially Matt Dillon. Matty D loves everything, especially Boca. As you might imagine, living with the two of them is the worst.
If you are, or know of, a queer artist or band that should be featured in Almost Famous, drop me the details via crystal [at] autostraddle [dot] com. Please write ‘Almost Famous’ in the subject line!