I’ve never lived anywhere other than Canberra and there’s a good reason for that. It’s not that I love Canberra that much, nor is it that I don’t like other places. I’d love to live somewhere else one day - but what holds me back is the fear of going somewhere where I would be alone. Canberra is a small city, so anywhere I go I can find someone I know. In the bigger cities, that’s a lot different.
Well that’s where I begin to really relate to this next song. Maja is a singer-songwriter from Melbourne who just recently released her new single Mother’s Daughter - a song that paints a picture of her experience moving from Brisbane to the Victorian capital and feeling like she never really fit in her new city - feeling ostracised and alone in a strange place she now has to call home.
But this isn’t a song about just being alone. No, it’s about finding that sense of belonging and acceptance in yourself knowing that you are your “mother’s daughter”. You may find yourself feeling like a fish out of water but at the end of each day, you can still feel connected to your family and that is always going to be your home.
Sharing her experience, Maja said “When I moved to Melbourne – like any new place, I felt quite ostracised at times. Sometimes I felt like I was being pinned into a box...And I sometimes felt “how do I fit into this city?” The only thing I could hang on to was that I was my mother’s daughter, so I could feel less alone. Now that I’m older, I’ve learnt that every place has its own way of being and you will never feel fully free and accepted anywhere, until you fully accept yourself”.
When I said before that Maja “paints this picture” - I really meant that. Throughout the song you get this light balance of guitar and strings that start to build up in intensity around the two-minute mark that, when paired with the accompanied percussion, begins to feel a little heavy and chaotic like you’re in the middle of a busy city not knowing where to go. It’s a part of the song that feels similar to Scott Street by Phoebe Bridgers where the found objects set the scene of the narrative.
As quickly as Mother’s Daughter begins to intensify, things come to a rest as Maja reminds the listener that they’re alone. But maybe that’s okay - because the strings that fill the calmer soundscape feel comfortable and safe and you’re soon reminded that you’re “your mother’s daughter”. It’s like Maja is sharing that’s is okay to feel this way, and it’s okay for things to feel a bit chaotic at times - but just as long as you’re at home with yourself, that’s the most important thing.
That’s my take away from this song, and maybe one day this is something I can take with me if I ever do leave this city. That maybe it will be alright if I don’t completely fit in, because at the end of the day, I am who I am and I’ll always fit into those shoes.