Maia – Living In The Alligator

Introducing a new sound to the folk music world, Maia are the second act to be featured in the 20GreatSongs Artist Spotlight series. Fresh from the success of their first Glastonbury performance earlier this year, they are pioneers of a genre that they call “sci-fi Folk” – ‘a combination of highly polar instruments, other worldly harmonies and four quirky lads’.

Here is Living in the Alligator:

Big thanks to Joe Haig (Piano/ Trumpet/Vocals) for sharing some of the bands’ experience and wisdom with 20GreatSongs:

How did you guys meet?

We were all reading variations of music and music technology, in our first term at Huddersfield Uni, and kept bumping into each other on nights out. Lots of red wine was involved and it’s all rather hazy now!

What or who are your musical influences?

Well everything we’ve ever heard is somewhere in our heads, but listening to ‘Love’ (Arthur Lee’s band) was a bit of a turning point for creating pop music together

Where did the inspiration for the song come from?

Tom (who does the main singing and the words) was walking round the Natural History Museum in London and saw an iron lung, the Victorian breathing apparatus, and it had the caption ‘Living in the Alligator’ – history was born!

Coolest gig you have performed so far and what would be your dream venue?

There have been so many awesome gigs so far, and each has it’s own surprises! It would have to be a top 3; playing at Glastonbury Festival was a bit of a dream come true, Broadstairs main stage and selling out of merch, and coming off stage at the Wharf Chambers in Leeds to an enormous roaring cheer!

Dream venue would be Wembley, but that might be too small. Failing that, the moon

What advice would you give to other singer songwriters?

There is nothing more important than recording, be it words or music, every single idea you get. You never know!

Oh and get a band together.

Most unusual situation you have found yourself in?

It has to be the time we woke up on a ship in the Thames, and thought we had walked out into zombie apocalypse.

They turned out to be ravers by the thousand!

What are you working on at the moment?

We are working to put out a few singles in the new year, and trying to build a time machine. The former is going better than the latter.

Check Maia out on their Facebook page or their website at

Maia’s 20 Great Songs list:

  1. David Bowie – Heroes
  2. Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive
  3. The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin
  4. Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge over Troubled Water
  5. Horseflies – Hush Little Baby
  6. Loudon Wainwright III – The Swimming Song
  7. New Order – Blue Monday
  8. Love – Alone Again Or
  9. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean – Single Version
  10. Bot’Ox – Tout passe, tout lasse, tout casse
  11. The Cherry Boys – Kardomah Cafe
  12. John Grant – Chicken Bones
  13. Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues
  14. The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again
  15. Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator
  16. Black Star Liner – Superfly And Bindi
  17. Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks
  18. The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize??
  19. Tom Waits – Martha
  20. America – A Horse With No Name

Or if you have Spotify and are logged in, you can listen to the playlist here:


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