Maria Zardoya and Josh Conway met in 2015 after a gig at the Kibitz Room, setting the stage for the duo’s formation of The Marias. They began dating and writing music together setting their sights on writing music for film and television while attempting to land placements in the film and television worlds. “When Josh and I were first making music together, we really had to envision the look of each scene” Zardoya recalls, “We’d get a synopsis from a music supervisor saying something like ‘This scene takes place in a smoky casino,’ and we’d create an image of what the lightening was like and what the actors were wearing, and all the other elements.”
A year passed with Zardoya and Conway accumulating a massive body of work, which led to their 2017 debut Superclean Vol. 1 followed by Vol. 2 in 2018. The Marias quickly gained recognition as a live act, earning a cult following in the Indie-Pop scene, signing with Atlantic in 2021. The band continues to work much as they did when writing for the screen, with their songs usually beginning with a visual component, always picturing the world of the song in their heads. Cinema was written by Zardoya and Conway in L.A. along with close friends Jesse Perlman on guitar, Edward James on keys, and Gabe Steiner on trumpet to round out the band. The album also pays tribute to filmmakers Pedro Almodovar and Wes Anderson, whose work inspired the untamed emotionality that amplifies the most intimate of feelings. Each song conjures different imagery, allowing the listeners to become entranced by Zardoya’s wispy vocals and spacey music in the background. “We want people to feel inspired to create anything, whether it’s music or art or whatever else they’re drawn to,” says Zardoya. “Hopefully the songs will help them to break away from real life for a while and create some kind of dream world in their heads—something like the scenes to their own little movie.”
The Marias’ highly anticipated Cinema North American headline tour begins in January 2022 at Las Vegas’ Brooklyn Bowl on January 26, and a show at the venue’s sister New York’s Brooklyn Bowl on February 17, with the final show of the tour being in Los Angeles at the Novo on March 12, 2022. In September 2021 the Marias made a live appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, playing to an enthusiastic audience. At radio, over 60 stations are already playing the album, including KBCO, WFUV, WTTS, KUTX, WRLT, Colorado Sound, WXRV, KXT and KRVB.
Photo by Ashley Seryn