The Peacock: beauty-keeper, snake-eater, symbol of resurrection. With it’s dazzling tail, the Peacock has personified beauty and pride since Ovid wrote his Amores in 16 BC. in roman mythology it was associated with the goddess Juno, who, in her varied attributes was considered femininity incarnate.
Maya Marie is the Lebanese-born protagonist of the New Pharaohs, and her sultry vocals combined with the band’s psychedelic aesthetics make her our story’s peacock. With two singles released so far, the New Pharaohs have entranced us already, and whet our appetite for more.
What is the sound for good times? What is the sound that conveys sadness?
Hearing loved ones laugh, the sound of a champagne bottle popping, an orchestra tuning before a performance, there are lots. The sound that conveys sadness is harder to de ne but I do always cry if I hear or hum “Bright eyes” from Watership Down (1978). I only had to begin explaining the song to a Dutch artist I was writing for when I became a sobbing mess in the studio and had to take a break. All my sadness comes to the surface with that bloody song. I wrote my first single “Empire” while bawling my eyes out on my couch. I was forcibly reminiscing the perfect Mediterranean life we had as an un-divorced family in Lebanon before the war. Definitely had the rose-tinted aviators on though.
If you had a Greek chorus following you around, what would you like them to say?
I think I would like total silence from them so I could feel like their priestess leading them on a procession most high.
Have you ever written a whimsical song?
“Reload: Justice or revenge?” I wrote it with Eugene McGuinness. It’s about a runaway Catholic schoolgirl who’s been double-crossed by her two-bit lover. After hunting him down she is faced with a moral dilemma when he unexpectedly says he’s sorry.
What songs inspire a good mood in you?
Old school recordings of Christmas carols in the run-up to Christmas. I have come to loathe Christmas itself but wrapping presents or decorating the tree on my own with the kings College Choir playing in the background is zen.
Would you recognize a good time if you’d never had a bad time?
Yes, so long as we can perceive a worse time we can we can recognize a good one.
What would you be doing if music wasn’t a part of your life?
Something in economic development, or anything related to improving the standard of living. Economics was the only subject I felt at ease in, more so than studying music, so maybe that would be a good alternative.
Photographer: Jessie Craig for Patricia McMahon.
Stylist: Francesca Turner.
Makeup: Riona O’Sullivan.
Location: Dorset Square Hotel, LONDON.