DOE EYE is the recording project of singer-multi-instrumentalist, Maryam Qudus. Her debut full length record, T E L E V I S I O N, is a living, breathing account of a whirlwind year of transition for the singer. Recorded at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco with producer John Vanderslice, (Spoon, The Mountain Goats, Nada Surf), T E L E V I S I O N follows the success of two EPs and her 2011 stand-out single, “I Hate You.”
At 12 years old, Qudus asked for a guitar for her birthday, with a promise to trade chores for lessons. She continued to experiment with music throughout her teens, yet driven by fears of impracticality, Qudus enrolled in a pre-med program. After a year of studying she walked out in the middle of her Trigonometry class, dropped all of her classes that semester and was accepted to the Berklee College of Music for the Fall of 2011. Originally intended to be a demo for Berklee, the Run Run Run EP found its way to San Francisco’s CBS radio station LIVE 105. To her surprise, the music directors at the station loved the song “I Hate You” and started to play it regularly. Momentum began to grow, and soon DOE EYE was getting covered by the likes of FUSE TV, Alternative Press and Billboard.
Unprepared for the sudden recognition and new demands on her time, Qudus found herself flying back and forth across the country, rehearsing a new band for every show, all while studying for classes before and after soundcheck and inside airplanes back to Boston. This transcontinental existence was unsustainable, and Qudus decided to take a break from college and move back to San Francisco. After only a few weeks back home, Qudus recorded her follow up EP Hotel Fire with producer Vanderslice and the Magik*Magik Orchestra (Death Cab for Cutie, Jonny Greenwood) at Tiny Telephone. Hotel Fire was released in September 2012, with MTV lauding Qudus’ “intense, string-soaked arrangement” and “brutally honest lyrics.” This success led to her first national tour, playing festivals such as Noise Pop, BFD, Midpoint Music Festival and opening for Chromatics, Allen Stone and Dan Croll.
In January 2013, Qudus left the inspired city life of San Francisco to take a solitary break in the suburbs and spend a year making a record. As she wrote, the last few years of her life started to spill out on T E L E V I S I O N. Living in 3 different cities within a year, her unexpected success in music and personal heartbreaks weighed heavily on her mind. Worn out from the deep introspection and emotional honesty Qudus required of herself when writing, she would often turn on the television and zone out into another world. Built around themes of heartbreak, loneliness, love, and death, DOE EYE has grown bold with her expression and willingness to reopen old wounds. T E L E V I S I O N is an analog document of how easy it is to fall into a static state when life gets overwhelming. It’s much easier to simply turn on the television.