Mary Bue is an artist who has been releasing music for around fifteen years. Before I spent time with her latest release Holy Bones I explored some of her previous efforts including Where The Monarchs Circled and East To The Sea. As it turns out her earlier work revolved around a piano, vocals and melancholy. It reminded me of Tori Amos at times. It was certainly well performed and often beautiful but quite different than Holy Bones.
Holy Bones contains a full band and the guitar is the central instrument this time around. It’s more dynamic and artists like PJ Harvey and Mazzy Star came to mind. On top of that I think it's safe to say the songs feel more aligned with pop music. Take for instance the exceptional opener “Candy” which bursts with emotion and contains memorable vocal melodies. Her lyrics are like a mantra gets gets embedded into you head. She sings "I want candy/I want money/I want my mommy/I want my daddy/I wanna be lazy".
It was apparent that Bue has a voice the fits like a glove around melancholy as well as cathartic release. A great combo if you ask me. The next song “Cheribum” which is only a minute-and-a-half long has even more pop sensibility.
The title track may be the highlight on the album. You can certainly hear shades of PJ Harvey on this track and I thought the synth was a nice touch. They lyrics are also some of the most thoughtful and poetic. She sings "who'll believe you/who'll forgive you when your closet breaks open with ghosts? raucously holding a toast? when your heart breaks loose from its shackles".
Bue continues to rock out with “Heart’s Desire” while “Put Up” is a catchy track that contains seamless transition that make listening to it such a pleasure. The most melancholic track goes to “Veal.” It’s a solid choice before the closer “A Million Moths” which contains gorgeous guitar pick and huge sounding crescendos.
Holy Bones is a treat to listen to and at eight songs it goes by fast. It has great flow from beginning to end and I can’t see many holes in her game. Take a listen. You won't be disappointed.
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