Happy Earth Day from Grey Matter! To honor the day that deserves daily celebration, we’re excited to premiere the very germane, earth-supporting track, “Mycelium,” from the talented Maya Elise. Maya’s an Oakland-based folk singer who regularly invokes the power of nature in her songwriting. Her music reflects the growing importance of giving trees — and the networks that connect them — our attention and our care. In this moment of shared isolation, time spent reflecting on our earth is time well spent.
Maya shared her inspiration and process for “Mycelium”:
“Mycelium” was inspired by a deep connection I found while doing restoration work, planting cedar, pine, and oak trees in a fire-damaged zone of the western Sierras. I was struck by the resilience and interconnectedness of that environment, and feel that we as humans have much to learn from these quieter species in our world. We just have to listen. From the trees, I’ve learned that growth is slow, but magnificent over time, and we must be gentle and kind to ourselves when we are rebuilding after disasters. When a tree is going to die, it uses the underground networks of mycelium to send its remaining nutrients to the trees around it. This feels like the ultimate reminder that we always have more to give, even in the moments when we can feel the most empty.
I recorded the main vocals and guitar in early January, and my bandmates Anna Cone & M’Gilvry Allen, finished it while I was abroad in March. My instructions to them were to record it exactly how we play it live, which is a tricky direction because it sounds slightly different every time we play it. When I heard the final mix it was everything I hoped for. In this shelter-in-place time, I miss my band so much and releasing this song feels like a celebration of the music we make together.
“Mycelium” is an acoustic love song from the perspective of a tree. Give it a spin below.
Maya is also doing a livestream tonight at 7pm PST — you can sign up here. You can also support her through the links below: