Mount Maunganui duo Joseph & Maia don’t believe in settling into a single sound. They preach that even Johnny Cash wouldn’t have sounded like the Johnny Cash most people know and love in his earlier days and people’s idea of the country music legend depends on where in his story they jumped in.
Although Joseph Thompson and Maia Potier only began recording music together in April 2012, some would say the band’s diverse sound has been evolving since Joseph began writing music when he was just 14 and cared mostly for rock.
Today, influences from greats like Cat Stevens, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan give the harmonious duo a classic folk and country sound, while aspects of Joseph’s rich background in pop and rock music creep through in some tunes.
The sentimental Place All Your Love speaks of commitment and honest affection, while the more upbeat Nothing I Can Do confronts the awkwardness around growing up and making promises in a way that’s so upbeat it makes adolescence almost sound like fun.
Songs are clean and uncluttered with a guitar driving most of their music, but guest appearances from xylophones, tambourines and a vintage '80s Casio keyboard keep each tune fresh.
Maia is a newcomer to the scene and two years ago refused to sing in front of her own father, but her strong voice and effortless charm hints nothing of inexperience and rivals that of experienced singers like Australian Julia Stone.