Over the last few years, “a day in the life” has never looked so stagnant. What was once routine has become standstill; we’ve lost the little rituals we used to take for granted. To find them again, we have to look at life a little differently. We created our ongoing series 9am to 9pm to get a glimpse into where artists find creative inspiration in their daily lives.
In this edition, we take a look into the daily life of Dirty Projectors and Coco member, Maia Friedman, leading up to the release of her debut solo album, Under The New Light. Read Maia’s thoughts below as she details an early spring day spent gardening, making smoothies, and unboxing a very special package.
9AM. A couple mornings a week I join SBCEC, a friend-community exercise group on zoom that was started by Philip Weinrobe at the start of the pandemic. We’ve been meeting almost daily for 2 years (what?!). Sometimes Phil leads, sometimes other people lead, sometimes I lead – we all kinda trade off depending on who’s there and who’s motivated. It was a true lifesaver these last two years to have a community of friends to check in with daily.
And if you’re curious about who showed up today:
Top Row (left to right): Chris P. Thompson, me, Adam Brisbin, Eli Crews
Middle: Will Epstein, Katie Von Schleicher, Beka Chase, Timo Andres
Bottom: Doug Wieselman, Ian McLellan Davis
9:23AM. I drink roasted dandelion root tea with oat milk every morning. It’s really good for the liver, but I also just love the way it tastes. Often I’ll make a big jar of grated ginger + lemon tea as well.
9:41AM. I’ve been really into making fruit + veggie smoothies in the morning for first breakfast (yes I have second breakfast). This one has banana, kiwi, spinach, cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon, chlorophyll and oat milk. It’s soooo goood, I feel effervescent afterward.
Something to note – the orchid is in bloom.
9:52AM. Here you will see my vitamins. Pictured is a multi-vitamin, GABA, plus a chinese herb blend called Ease Pearls, which is supposed to help with stress. I think it helps? There are a few more but I took them before I remembered to take this photo.
If I could take a picture of my phone I would because I’m probably looking at my phone throughout first breakfast and vitamins. Not the healthiest habit, I’ll be the first to say it. I should be journaling or staring out the window. It takes discipline.
11:00AM. Therapy in my car. My partner has been working from home and we live in a studio together so this is my private space (for now). Hanging from the rearview mirror are dried roses I picked in front of my friends Adrian and Alex’s studio in Richmond, VA, called Montrose Recording. They’ve been hanging there since May 2021, when I recorded there with Coco.
I’ve been emptying a storage space so what you see here in the right corner is a big metal shelving unit that I’ve listed on craigslist. Don’t know why no one will take it off my hands but if you’re reading this and live in Brooklyn – I have a metal shelving unit you’re welcome to for free.
12:26PM. The remains of second breakfast. Olive loaf from Saraghina Bakery in Brooklyn, NY with my favorite butter – Kerrygold Pure Irish Salted Butter. Don’t know how it’s so good but it is. The salt?
12:42PM. This right here is my current workspace aka the living room. I’m days away from releasing my record Under The New Light, which means I spend way too much time on the computer answering emails and whatnot. Not the best for my mental-emotional health but what can you do – I am very fortunate to have the opportunity and privilege of sharing my music with the world. I’m also currently trying to relearn all the songs on my record to prepare for upcoming shows. The notebooks on the coffee table contain an array of tabs and notes and lyrics that I’m consolidating into one single notebook.
12:53PM. It’s a warm-ish day today (low 40s) so to combat the dark-computer-brain-cloud I decided to do a little end-of-winter garden cleanup to prepare for spring. In a few months, this sad-looking plot is going to be full of lush and blossoming foliage. Most of what’s in the ground are pollinator plants, which attract bees and butterflies. Unfortunately mosquitos too, but it’s worth it.
1:08PM. First signs of spring. This makes me so happy I could cry.
2:28PM (Left). Organizing and prepping planters – hopefully, what was planted last year will return once it begins to warm up a little more. It’s been a bit of an experiment to see what will survive the NYC winter. Soon I’ll plant some bulbs like these Tiger Lilies or Ranunculus.
2:29PM (Right). Evidence of prunings + cleanup.
2:30PM. While I was working in the garden these boxes were delivered. My records!!!!
3:42PM. Hard to describe what this feels like, there are so many emotions bundled into one experience. I know it’s cliche but I think this might be one of the proudest moments of my life. This 12-year-old version of myself would be very curious, and very, very happy.
3:42PM. Also look at this light. Too pretty not to share.
6:35PM (Left). Practice zone.
7:46PM (Right). Video editing.
8:37PM. Dinner: Quinoa, Adzuki beans, kale, hijiki with carrots + shitake mushrooms, and acorn squash. Despite what it’s looked like throughout the day, I’m certainly not always this healthy. I think with the impending spring, my body is wanting a spring cleaning and it’s what I’m craving. Definitely snuck in some chocolate here and there throughout the day, just forgot to document it.
10:20PM. End of the day y’all. I’ve been watching soooo much TV at night (the show of choice right now is DAVE), so I’m trying to shift back to reading a little bit more. I’m in the middle of The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. I love her writing so much. If you haven’t explored her books yet I’d highly recommend it. It’s a mixture of science-fiction and social commentary.
Night night everybody. Thanks for spending the day with me.
Maia Friedman’s new album ‘Under The New Light’ is out today via Last Gang Records: