Big Thief – Mary

• “Mary” set to a picture of the housing album. Thanks to Saddle Creek.

8.9 “Excellent Songwriter from the USA”

From their album “Capacity” released in June, 2017.

This Brooklyn, New York 4-piece include Adrianne Lenker (songwriter, vocals, guitar), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass) and James Krivchenia (drums).

“Mary”, however, breaks from the full group sound, with Mat Davidson from Twain drafted in to play piano.

Adrianne describes the song as being about “childhood being brought to life and reignited after the slush of the teenage years”.

She first played it on her grandparents’ keyboard in Andover, Minn, some years ago, when she was 21 and just home from college, where she’d met a lifelong friend named Mary.

Speaking to NPR, she shared further thoughts on the gorgeous piece:

We had a fireplace there. And every winter — we spent every single winter there. I have memories of sledding down in the backyard; there was a hill that went down a path through this patch of woods. And we would just slide down the hill for hours. And then go inside and my grandma would make incredible hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon — she was a heavy cinnamon user — and my grandpa would put a fire on, and we would be there. And my grandma painted. And she’d bring out all these crafts and we’d sit and work on paintings and making things … My grandparents — and my grandma, in particular — defined homey coziness in my life when I really needed it. Just that feeling of being completely cradled. That was my safe space. It just had this particular smell — like potpourri and cloves and cinnamon. And it always smelled that way.

There’s really nothing like meeting a real friend on this earth who holds a space for you to be yourself. “Mary” carries the warmth of that friendship and those winters.

It’s about childhood being brought to life and reignited after the slush of the teenage years. There’s just a little capsule of a song that allows me to revisit all these colors and pictures and textures and feelings. There’s a few lines where I realized that sometimes it’s easier on this journey for me to give love and kindness and tenderness and empathy to those I really care for … and sometimes a little more challenging to direct it inwardly and give it to myself. And when I first wrote the song I thought I was definitely writing it all about this dear friend and these experiences — and that time folded into other memories and just like a non-linear stream of life — but then later I started realizing in listening to it that a lot of the lines were applicable to myself, and things that I needed to hear.

Get it at Amazon.

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