Electropop duo MAIDS describes themselves as “Midwest disco.” It is a fitting descriptor. Much like the land from which Danny Heggen and Mickey Davis hail, MAIDS is unassuming and can be easy to overlook or marginalize. And, like disco, the pair’s sound can be a bit saccharine at times but feels full to the brim with a hopeful joy.
The pair first met when Davis was living in Minneapolis and Heggen was a member of the band Seedlings. Heggen’s sister introduced the two, and after hearing some of his work, Heggen asked Davis if he would be interested in mixing some of Seedlings’ songs.
“I think you really get to know when you collaborate with someone what they’re work ethic is like,” Heggen said. “You get a feel for their personality and how quickly they turn things around and come to you with ideas.“So when Mickey said that he was moving back to Des Moines, I knew I wanted to work with him.”
MAIDS consists of two moving parts: Heggen supplies all the live components, while Davis handles the electronic side. When those two pieces come together and make it work, the results can be genuinely sublime. It will strike some as a little twee. For others, the hipster aesthetic will be too much to bear. But when allowed to stand for itself, MAIDS’ music has the tendency to grow on you.
The pair writes in shifts, with Heggen doing most of the heavy lifting before handing things off to Davis for the final spit and polish.
“I love the white page,” Heggen said. “That’s where I really find my inspiration. So I’ll write the melody, I’ll write all the words, then record it all into my computer on two tracks. Then I’ll send that to Mickey with notes about ‘this many beats per minute, this key.’ That allows us to really create within our own space.”
The band has been putting the finishing touches on a new EP with hopes of releasing it late winter or early spring. Before then, a single should see the light of day, perhaps with a new music video. The process of creating music for MAIDS is never one that seems difficult for the two men, despite radically different approaches to their art. It is a process that is helped along by a shared passion, a combined vision and a deep mutual respect.
“The more you know Mickey and I, you see how (MAIDS) works,” Heggen said. “What Mickey does blows my mind.” CV