Dream Life, is inspired by nature and landscape and inhabits two worlds: a dark, ghostly English winter, and the light of an imagined idyllic California.
Mary has been making significant waves in her home country since releasing Dream Life there on her own label, Hand Of Glory. Overwhelming radio support has included 3 singles playlisted on BBC 6 Music and ‘Black Doe’ picked as BBC Radio 1’s Hottest Record In The World. Much praise has come from national press, including Q magazine calling the album “Psych pop splendour… Experimentalism, melody and narrative co-existing in appealing balance” and Record Collector awarding the album five stars and hailing it as “A work of bracing originality… Immaculately sung and graced throughout with intelligent, song-serving arrangements and inspired production touches.” This attention has led to Mary and her band performing sold-out shows in the UK including the Royal Albert Hall Elgar Room in London. Recently Mary joined Boy George, Bernard Butler, Mark King and Tim Burgess to form a one-off supergroup at the Liverpool International Music Festival.
From the bold album openers ‘Long Gone’, with its brass, synth-droned chords and stately chorus, the all-out fuzz and drum assault of stand-out track ‘Black Doe’, through to the magical and psychedelically epic closer ‘Ray Of Sunlight’, Dream Life is swirling, lush and mysterious. Using analogue synths, space echo, and kosmische drums to set rich atmospheres and create unique soundscapes, Dream Life makes nods to psych, soul, krautrock, shoegaze, and even gospel, without ever falling squarely into any genre.
Production and mixing of the record was also polar, with the majority of recording done with producer Will Twynham in a snowbound barn in Norfolk, England – coincidentally the exact area that was home to Mary’s maternal ancestors, and also to Celtic queen, Boudicca’s Iceni tribe – and the lion’s share of the mixing performed by Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Devendra Banhart) in Laurel Canyon. It’s appropriate that these places figure strongly in a record that maps feelings to landscape and uses nature as metaphor.
Mary’s influences for Dream Life include Iggy Pop’s New Values – the drum sound in particular was referenced so much in production that the album’s working title was “Old Values” – Todd Rundgren, The Beach Boys (Beach Boys Love You‘s brutal snare and synth, through to Holland’s lush soul), to the progressive sound approaches of The Pretty Things’ S.F. Sorrow and cult studio project Millennium’s Present Tense. Mary recently interviewed another influence, fellow psychedelic nature lover Linda Perhacs, for Shindig magazine.
Now it’s time to bring Mary Epworth and Dream Life to North America. Highline Records is releasing Dream Life on all formats, and Mary is embarking on a 36-date US tour opening for the stage show of cult US podcast phenomenon Welcome To Night Vale*, performing with Will Twynham as a psychedelic two-piece.