MARY LORSON of MADDER ROSE – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE”
with MARY LORSON of
MADDER ROSE

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest fronted a band that had real personal significance for me in the early-ish 90s. Madder Rose from NYC had a hat-full of songs featured on John Peel’s Festive 50 in ’93 mostly from their amazing album “Bring It Down” which I diligently taped from the radio and played over and over. Songs like “Swim”, “Lights Go Down” and “Beautiful John” were burned into my consciousness, and then also on Festive 50 in ’94 “Panic On” and “Car Song” from the EPs of the same name also permeated my brain and then soundtracked some memorable after hours moments from Fresher’s Year at Uni.

Madder Rose were a band full of pop hooks, but also with a sense of drama and intimacy. And having recently re-visited “Bring It Down” they knew how to rock too, helped by the keen guitar of Matt Verta-Ray later of Speedball Baby and Heavy Trash. But it was the bittersweet silkiness of Mary Lorson’s vocals that always brought me in. So it’s a real honour that she’s come to Velvet Sheep fanzine all these years later, to choose her “song for ewe”, welcome Mary Lorson!!

Here’s my absolute favourite “Lights Go Down”…

Here’s what Mary’s up to at the moment:

“I am indeed busy: this year I wrote and performed a memoir with music called “Signals,” which was videotaped and will hopefully travel to other cities. I’m also mixing my 11th album, “Themes From Whatever.”

Here was the IndieGoGo pitch for “Themes From Whatever”…look forward to hearing the album!

But what is Mary’s “song for ewe” – it’s a real tune with a tale….

“Dory Previn’s “Beware of Young Girls” from the album “On My Way to Where”

I bought this Dory Previn record at Angry Mom Records in Ithaca, brand-new, complete with shrink-wrap and pristine lyrics sheet, not knowing a thing about Previn, just something about a relation to composer André Previn.

What I found was an uncommon auteur, using confessional songwriting to address themes unique to mature women. Imagine!

Previn, aged 45 at the album’s 1970 release, had been informed of her husband’s infidelity with Mia Farrow, the young friend welcomed into her home, when Farrow became pregnant with her husband’s twins.

As a writer, Previn bitterly cautions her contemporaries against any such unguarded generosity, while as a singer she adopts the faux-innocence of Farrow herself, daintily listing the cringe-worthy clues of betrayal as viewed in the rear-view mirror. That Previn went on to suffer serious mental illness adds a depth of understanding to the fragility with which she delivers this piece (the word “song” seems insufficient here). (Note: if this genre appeals to you: see Norah Jones’ “Miriam.” Ouch.)”

THANKS SO MUCH TO MARY, YOU ARE A VELVET SHEEP LEGEND.

Author: Nick Hutchings

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