"My heart beats for a lot of things. I think that’s because I’m coming from a mixed heritage marriage. I have never felt that I am one thing or the other, I’m rather a fusion of both and my music reflects that. It feels like I am evolving as a human being and although music is merely a mean of expression, I like the idea of resonating with it–if its pace suits me. Blues has always been dear to my heart: it's a cathartic experience, precious and profound, whether it's playing it or listen to it on the radio! When I first heard Billie Holiday sing ’Blue Moon’, I could feel it with every cell of my body. She had such a powerful effect on me. Sentimental blues, originating from tragic situations, sometimes even reflecting my own experiences... No matter how bad family, friends, politics, lovers, governments or society might be, they can never destroy the forces for good in this world. And as time passes by, I more and more find the truth that is rooted in my soul. And I finally feel mature enough to understand this wonderful musical tradition–because blues means life. "
And if blues means life, Malia is the energy that allows the blues to have a soul, a voice. Characterised by her unique timbre - which doesn’t need any further explaining - Malia gives us a thrill throughout the 12 tracks of this album that has everything to become a classic. It has been a long time since a contemporary artist has made such a beautiful homage to the blues, a style that in the year 2020 deserves to have a bit of its dust brushed off.
The album opens with a beauty called Hope, the first single. "Hope is fine, I feel divine," sings Malia. Right from the first very first note we are carried to a place far away with a gloomy but optimistic mood. The tension keeps on building with Last Show, a melodic neo-country title. „Last Show evokes persistence in the face of adversity, use what you have inside of you to make the best of life. ‘Gather all your seeds and plant them deep’… No matter how dark things may seem, there is always something or someone who can offer you a flicker of light. Life can be tough, but we can certainly grow with these challenges. I see this kind of courage in human beings all the time.”
The album continues with The Thrill is Gone, a BB King title that Malia brings to a whole new dimension. Me & My Girlfriend, the jazziest track of the album seems to be a little wink at Sabine Sabine's 80's track "Catwalk". Two Seedlings invites us to an irresistible country-blues while Lord, I feel So Bad drives us further west into an atmosphere that is worthy of a western. It explores a rather dark theme. “This song is about the money machine that governs us, where money means more than life. It's up to us to stand up to defend love and humanity.”
It goes on very theatrical with the rather sensual voice of Malia on Restoration which leaves us with a brighter feeling before we continue with Death and its blues that is as dark as a good whisky. But it makes us want to taste even more of this exquisite blues.
Freedom At Last evokes the feeling of a heavy metal song played in slow motion, a real gem. And when we expect it the least, Malia ingeniously puts you in a mood that makes you want to dance to the jazzy and bluesy groove of Moving Away. It is followed by Honeymoon is Over and its romance that ends badly while Love is Vain, best known by the Stones cover, closes the album and resembles a classic Ella Fitzgerald.
In an era where technology is increasingly shaping music, The Garden Of Eve explores the opposite: it's an organic album, made by real musicians recording simultaneously, giving it a live mood while at the same time having wonderfully brilliant sound.
Although the blues has lost its most faithful missionary since the passing of the late BB King, Malia and The Garden Of Eve offer a beautiful makeover which injects a modern fragrance to this style which will enchant the blues enthusiasts.