Listen NOW to Mary Mary
The Artist's Perspective
The story behind the song is just the beginning of something bigger.
By Amanda Emblem
"Mary Mary" is a song about the River. Inspired by the waterways of the Mary Valley, which run into the Mary River where I live. The song brings the nostalgia of youth and experiences of feeling isolation as well as being a part of being one with nature, experiencing it's healing and beauty. It's a gentle track, featuring guitars, flute and harmonica and it compliments my voice, which has been described by others (in the past) as "sweet and ethereal".
The last 12 months has been a game changer. I've been allowing my musical style to evolve in ways I never thought would happen. I've always written ballads, but ever since I started writing at the age of 13 I've been consumed by playing in rock bands. In April this year, we (The Amanda Emblem Experiment) won the title of 2019 Akademia Artist of the Year in the Singer Songwriter/Folk Category as well as an 2020 Artist Vision Award. It came after unprecedented success in the internationally based internet music syndicate for our song, a ballad titled "No One's Perfect... Even You" from the debut album of 2018 "Who Is Amanda Emblem?”.
When the demo version of "Mary Mary" also won an Akademia Award the accolade was cause for deep consideration. Facing a cancelled tour North and a long stint off the road, the need to rock out seemed far less important. Coming from a Blues Rock Music background, having dabbled in punk and hard rock, I feel like a reinvention was very necessary, so I paused to take a deep look at the style of music I was creating, and my future pathways as a recording artist.
The Recording of Mary Mary was a fun time. One of the Mitchell Creek "Soul Sisters" is a Brisbane Girl called Belle Hendrik. I joined the Soul Sisters at 2019 Mitchell Creek. Since then we've formed a great friendship. We are one and the same. Both Singer, bass player, multi instrument, leaders of many musical projects past and present, but she has one up on me in that she has the patience and equipment to record high quality tracks. I shamelessly landed on her doorstep, guitar in hand.
That day she recorded Mary Mary. She also played Bass and sang. Barry Milan, her partner, played the most amazing guitar lead break. I remember we had a Pee Wee bird squawking at the window back room throughout the takes! The song just came alive. Originally it was 6 minutes long. I listened back and it was like wow it's amazing, but I knew it could be better. So did many others. I sent it out to people. they confirmed it was a great song. I took people's advice on board. I went back a second day and we edited, I re-recorded some parts, Kelly King came and we recorded her flute!
Eventually I sent the files to Paul McKercher, who mixed it all together. I then sent it on to Steve Smart at 301 to master. I believe there is something special about "Mary Mary". I think it is bigger than me. The songs that mean something, that do touch people, its because people can make the song their own. My vision initially was that this was a song to be sung by other artists, but it also feels like home to me. It's an easy listen with a peaceful promise of more coming.
The song is already set for another reinvention in September, with early discussion about The Mitchell Creek Soul Sisters performing the tune. It is my hope however, that through the song people realise that our connection with the River is about being part of a bigger picture. It was over Ten years ago now this river was stopped from becoming a Dam. We would've lost endangered wildlife. Instead we have such a gift and connection with nature. I hope it aids to not being complacent about the gift it brings this community.