SPOTLIGHT ON: Maggie Maloney

For junior chemistry and math double major Maggie Maloney, her interest in making music began with a sarcastic request from her parents. In 2012, she asked for a ukulele for Christmas because she knew it was an instrument that she could learn within an hour. Her wish was granted and her music career began. So far, Maloney has performed at coffee shops and open mics in different areas around Buffalo. Her workplace at home hosts “acoustic Wednesdays” and her boss insisted she play at one of these shows after learning to play the ukulele. This gig proved to be a perfect opportunity for Maloney. “I did the acoustic Wednesday and then I got picked up by LIPS Records after that,” she said.

After seeing Maloney perform and hearing her impressive chord progressions on the ukulele, head of LIPS Records—Jake Smolinski—immediately wanted to sign her to the label. Unfortunately, an over-protective boyfriend prevented her from signing right away and it wasn’t until after she broke it off with him that she joined LIPS Records to officially pursue music.

In January 2015, Maloney officially began recording with the label and she released her debut album in October titled Tribute. Maloney explained that her music falls in the genre of “twee.” Maloney explained twee as music that “sounds really, really happy but [has] a super-depressing undertone,” which is what she likes to emulate through her own sound.

“I like to see [music] as an outlet of all of the fucked up shit you think about when you’re alone and all that jazz,” she added.

Maloney named the twee band Heavenly as one of her musical inspirations, along with Smolinksi’s band Local Onlys. Local Onlys hails from Philadelphia and Maloney classifies them as “very garage-indie.”

Maloney cited Smolinski in particular as one of her greatest inspirations and musical influences, noting that she admires his versatile musical talent when it comes to instruments. “He plays guitar, drums, everything in the entire world,” she said. “You name the instrument, he probably knows how to play it. He’s one of those kids.”

Maloney’s musical taste is a quirky assortment. Besides Heavenly and Local Onlys, she is a fan of indie band Yellow Ostrich from Brooklyn, NY. Maloney also noted that she “really likes trap beats because they’re funny.”

What makes Maloney stand out among other artists is her unique voice and lyrical writing ability. “My buddies like to say that I’m able to portray a lot of emotion in really simple lines,” she said. This is certainly no easy task—many people struggle to describe their feelings using many words, much less a few lines. Maloney, however, manages to be both straightforward and poetic.

She explained that she has plans for more music. “I’ve been talking to my buddy Jake [Smolinski] … and I think we’re probably going to try to record an EP this winter break,” she said.

Be on the lookout for more music from Maloney—her whimsical talent is worth recognizing.