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Marnie Mains: Press Release

marnie cameron house

Cameron House, March 3

Marnie Mains



When Marnie Mains and her band took to the stage a lot of the people in the venue did a double take. With her short skirt, fishnet stockings and bright red hair, Mains definitely stood out from the two performers who went on before her.

But she proved that looks can indeed be deceiving by belting out a solid batch of jazz and blues-flavoured pop tunes that, for better or worse, showed that she really wasn’t that different from the other artists on the bill. She did seem to have the predominantly male audience wrapped around her little finger with her coy, sex kitten routine.

Where a lot of artists have the look but not the talent and vice versa, Mains has both. She has the chops to back up her smokin’ hot looks. Her songs were the usual collection of he done me wrong songs but she made them work and probably had more than a few guys wanting a piece of the bastard who inspired them.

Andrew Horan - SceneandHeard.ca

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Nov 15

Singer / Songwriter Marnie Mains has something to prove. While the modern day pop music norm for guitar clutching heroines consists of well practiced angst-filled looks and a set list of repetitious themes and sounds, Mains finds success with diversity. Unlike her peers, she brings a forgotten sensibility to her craft, in part due to years of formal vocal training across the disciplines of jazz and choral. This translates to a pleasing listen of her just released self titled full length CD.

The disk offers a notably mature follow up to her 8 song EP (locally selling over 800 copies through suit case sales and word of mouth). The creation of the full length album was a labour of love for Mains, as it was carefully recorded over the last few years in 3 stages, 4 songs at a time.

“I wanted to do it right - I wanted really good production”, says Mains. “Each song is kinda different, each song is innate to itself. It’s not a straight rock or a straight pop, a lot of the songs have jazzy influences, influences from the 30’s. This album is about me finding my voice. Ultimately, I’m pretty eclectic as a song writer. I kinda like it all, and I think that shines through.”

Over the course of 60 minutes Mains takes her listener on a journey of introspection, revelation, and sultry fancy. Throughout, Mains tends to each song individually allowing every track to stand on its own sentiment and sonic merits.



“They’re all my children, but I love them for different reasons. I gravitate towards the more soulful pieces. The higher the notes the better it feels for me. I love the feeling of singing. Not surprisingly, the higher ranged songs are usually songs deeper in meaning. That’s not just flippant, there’s a greater meaning for me.”

The album has already received attention overseas, as Mains recently toured in the UK.

“The album saw England before it saw Vancouver. I went on tour in England in June. They seem to really like singer song writers, because they received us really well. We had no idea what to expect, but we were asked to perform encores right from our first show.”

Beginning in September, Mains will bring her music to a more local stage, initially with shows across Ontario, then returning to British Columbia. Mains promises a captivating show, both intimate and interactive.

“I’m gonna be playing my guitar, with only my lead guitar player accompanying me. I want [the] shows to be more charming and low-key, to showcase my vocals. My vocals are why I step on stage, and why I write songs.”

Rob Anand - Cordmag.com

There appears to be a trend in the gals in Vancouver these days. It started years ago with scene breakers like Holly McNarland and Lily Frost, and Sarah McLachlan to a point – girls who were adorable but kinda hardassed and strong-willed at the same time. The new generation of girls in the city is carrying the torch. We already know about Michaela Galloway from Hinterland, Adrienne Pierce, Marta Jaciubek from Girl Nobody… and now we can add Marnie Mains to the list. She comes off as a bit of an Ani DiFranco, without being such a stark revolutionary. She’s more tangible, more effective for your average girl who needs a musical role model. So this disc, it’s not bad, if not groundbreaking. She has bluesy moments, squeaking vocals oozing with cute, sometimes she’s jivey and bossa nova. Track nine, “Liquid Nurse,” is ridiculous! I’m on vacation in Mexico. And sometimes she’s just slow. It’s pretty music for an independent woman. “Beautiful on the Inside” is supposed to be loud and I think supposed to come off as sounding vicious and powerful, but it’s recorded weakly and has some odd effects that dilute it too much. But that song is quickly followed by a pretty tune again. The last official track remind me of “Godless” from the Dandy Warhols. You know I always like a Dandy Warhols reference…

The music – some flowy acoustics, all swirling chiffon scarves and white candles. Some pick up, like it should be a Sheryl crow song if the voice weren’t so fluttery. It all sounds very accomplished. The instruments mix well, the songs are pretty diverse. I think her slower songs are her better ones as well – powerful. There’s backing vocals (her tracking over herself) that are stunning. It’s a great voice. Some of the songs have strange intros – backwards songs or random noises. Possibly superfluous because it’s on so many of the songs, but not in such a way as to make it a solid theme. And three guesses what the hidden track is numbered at.

Lyric of choice : You’ve got a nice face / bad taste / I think you’re good at what you hate.

Song of choice : "Ferris Wheel" – it’s that droney Chris Isaak guitar in the background I think. I’m a sucker. No no, it’s very movie soundtrack, quite nice.

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Andy Scheffler - Cordmag.com