A spider’s web of wonder
Ones To Watch - Mary Epworth

For two years, Mary Epworth has been beavering away creating her debut record - a plethora of sounds and styles and a variable spider’s web of wonder.

“Every song is written on guitar, but there’s hardly any guitar on the album,” she says, explaining the foundations of ‘Dream Life’, made with multi-instrumentalist and Hand Of Glory co-owner Will Twynham in a Norfolk barn and above a Berlin brothel.The album’s unity comes from its psychedelia and folk threads, but also its incredibly soulful melodies. Mary has already been compared to the wonderful Sandy Denny, but her ancestral tutelage goes much deeper.

Yes, there is the twinge of Kate Bush, the winding melodies of CSNY, and even the influence of her dad’s love of prog, but it’s those who stepped widely out of the mainstream that have made a real impression…that and a penchant for vintage Space Echo.“I spent my teenage years listening to indie bands in scuzzy dives in London, which got me into a bit of obscure stuff like Shellac and the Dischord bands. I fell in love with music, but could never really play an instrument as well as I wanted. Even now, I have to try to explain to Will the sound I’m after, like making the banjo on ‘Black Doe’ more sticky.”

With such edgy influences, it might be a surprise to hear that Mary’s brother is producer Paul Epworth, whose successes to date include Florence And The Machine and Adele. The siblings are very close, but Mary admits she’s a “stubborn old bag” who wants to do things on her own. “The worst thing for me is that people think we had it easy when it’s actually been really hard.”

However, dare it be said, she could easily capture a few Florence fans looking for something a bit more...outside.

Words by Gemma Hampson
Photo by Samuel John Butt

Where: Bishops Stortford
What: Psychedelic folk
Get 3 songs: ‘Black Doe’, ‘Long Gone’, ‘Heal This Dirty Soul’
unique Fact: Through the power of social media, Mary is in talks with psych pop wonders Os Mutantes’ frontman Sergio Dias about a possible collaboration.

This interview appears in the July 2012 issue of Clash Magazine. Find out more about the issue HERE and subscribe to Clash magazine HERE.

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