The 5-track project is both luscious and enchanting, as the budding superstar touches on growth, change, and self-discovery in the relatable songs.
Recorded with multi-platinum producer/mixer/engineer Brian Malouf (Michael Jackson, Madonna,) Overland is actually named after a street Steele frequently drives on in LA, and embodies its own little world; a metaphorical bridge and a physical one.
‘Overland’ is a street that I drive on a lot. I knew I wanted to name it after a big LA street because I wanted it to be a physical bridge between these different areas that inspired these different songs, as well as a metaphorical one that ties these songs together,” she tells Celeb Secrets in an exclusive interview.
“I was definitely inspired by Los Angeles as a whole — how different and often contradictory all of the pockets are. I associated each song with a different area and really tried to lean into how they feel sonically.”
Steele sat down with Celeb Secrets (virtually) to talk about the record’s creative process, what it means to her, and how it differs from her previously released projects.
Keep scrolling to read our full Q&A with Maeve and let us know if you like her new EP by either leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sending us a tweet at @celebsecrets.
Celeb Secrets: What were some of your inspirations when creating Overland?
Maeve Steele: “I’m a really visual writer, and it really helps me to associate a song or sound with a specific image. I was definitely inspired by Los Angeles as a whole- how different and often contradictory all of the pockets are. I associated each song with a different area and really tried to lean into how they feel sonically.”
Celeb Secrets: What was it like to work with Brian Malouf for this project?
Maeve Steele: “Working with Brian was great. He’s such a connector of talent. I think he really listens to an artist, their music and who they are, and brings people together to support that goal. He took these simple, bare bone sketches of songs and helped me turn it into a project that feels like its own little world.”
Celeb Secrets: How would you personally describe the overall sound of Overland?
Maeve Steele: “I like to say dreamy Americana pop. There’s also some blues in there.”
Celeb Secrets: The lead single “Slow Down” discusses the need to savor each moment in life. What events or emotions inspired the single?
Maeve Steele: “I wrote ‘Slow Down’ in 2020 when I felt so lost and overwhelmed by graduating college and entering this new stage of life. I was back in my childhood bedroom just trying to remind myself that everything was not only going to be fine, but that there’s a lot of beauty in the situation I was in.”
Celeb Secrets: “Overland” touches a lot on the themes of discovering yourself and growing as an individual. What do you hope listeners take from this EP?
Maeve Steele: “These songs are really about feeling everything – I know that sounds silly, because all art is about feeling, but I’ve always been a really guarded person. Songwriting has always been a way to step back and remove myself from my feelings. I think I was learning how to not be scared of having deep emotions while writing this, and that helped me write from a messier, more authentic place. I hope people just get more of who I am and feel the freedom to really feel themselves too.
Celeb Secrets: Is there anything surprising you’ve learned about yourself as an artist while creating “Overland?”
Maeve Steele: “Making music can be such a tumultuous, emotional process. There’s a lot of self doubt involved. I think I learned how to trust my gut a bit more when it comes to creativity.”
Celeb Secrets: How would you describe your songwriting process for this project?
Maeve Steele: “I wrote all of these songs in my bedroom. There’s always two types of songs for me; the ones that just flow so easily it’s like someone is whispering the song in my ear, and then the messy ones that I have to rewrite over and over until it feels right. Slow Down and Red Wine Teeth were the easy kind, the others were messy. It’s cool how you can almost hear the process in the final thing.
Celeb Secrets: Which track do you feel most personally attached to and why?
Maeve Steele: “I think Riptide means the most to me. It’s a song that I tried to write a bunch of times, and this version just clicked. It’s moody and weird and sexy in the verses, but breezy and almost familiar in the chorus. I love that dichotomy. It’s about leaning into the chaos of falling in love, which is a reminder I needed.”
Celeb Secrets: Your song “Refuge” discusses a desire for seeking “refuge.” What does that word mean to you?
Maeve Steele: “‘Refuge’ is about feeling safe and loved by someone, and in turn learning how to feel safe and loved by yourself.”
Celeb Secrets: How did you choose the name Overland for the EP?
Maeve Steele: “‘Overland’ is a street that I drive on a lot. I knew I wanted to name it after a big LA street because I wanted it to be a physical bridge between these different areas that inspired these different songs, as well as a metaphorical one that ties these songs together. I also love that Overland sounds like it could be the name of a place.”
Celeb Secrets: Who are your biggest musical inspirations as an artist and how would you say they inspired you while writing Overland?
Maeve Steele: “I’m always inspired by how personal and gritty Amy Winehouse was lyrically. Lana Del Rey’s poetry and ability to seamlessly mix genres while having such a distinct, unique sound was also a huge inspiration.”
Celeb Secrets: Is there anything you think listeners should keep in mind when listening to Overland?
Maeve Steele: “I guess I just want people to think about what they want out of music at the moment they’re listening. I wrote these songs from such a wide variety of emotions. Depending on what you’re looking for, there’s some love, some sadness, some flirtation, some self acceptance.”
Celeb Secrets: What do you think sets the tracks on this EP apart from past releases such as “Tycho” or “Shimmer?”
Maeve Steele: “These tracks feel really intimate in a way that I’ve never put out before. They sound like me. I think in the past I’ve tried to write in a way that would fit a certain aesthetic, or fit what I thought people would want from me. These songs all started as songs for myself.”