Maïa Vidal is living out the bohemian cousin of the American dream. The 24-year-old Californian booked it for Europe after her college graduation and never looked back, honing her chops on the accordion, violin, and toy piano while living abroad in Paris and Barcelona. Any chanteuse who sounds as though she could singlehandedly take on the Amélie soundtrack is OK in my book, and in that regard, Vidal’s effortlessly offbeat style fits the bill beautifully. Flush with finger-snaps, handclaps, warm strings, and the pings of toy instruments, God Is My Bike is an ambitious, busy effort. Vidal’s songwriting shines brightly, even though some of her catchier hooks sound as though they were ripped directly from the repertoires of Regina Spektor and Jenny Lewis. Throw in an ode to American punk while capitalizing on the sonic version of a Parisian stroll, and you’ve got the endearing debut of Maïa Vidal in a nutshell.
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