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'Constant Unfailing Night'   

-  Label: 'Sideways Saloon / Kartel'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '9th March 2018'

Our Rating:
This dark and intense nine track album follows on from the Welsh born singer songwriter's 'Bloom In Thickened Skin' EP.

Elle Mary currently lives in Manchester where she launched and ran The Folk Cellar for two years.

The record was conceived in response to a break up and while it began in a more traditional acoustic folk vein, somewhere along the way it turned into ‘heavy noir’. A further cause for unhappiness that determined this atmosphere was the passing of Mary's father and the album is dedicated to his memory.

The songs are slow and one-paced yet more electric through the assistance of The Bad Men, Michael Dubec and Pete Sitch. They chiefly maintain the same restrained, funereal tone although occasionally step into the foreground. Their presence is most conspicuous when power chords unexpectedly disturb the calm in the middle of Behave, a song about suppressed rage in which Mary advises an ex-lover "To go fuck yourself".

The minimalism of the brooding pieces is reflected in the fact that all the tracks, aside from No Baby, have one word titles. The tome can be gauged from the fact that Mary names Low, Julie Doiron and Bill Callahan among her inspirations.

The starkness to being all cried out in the opening track (Falling) is typical of the despondent quality of the record although there are moments of spectral beauty too, particularly in the controlled grace of Pretend which is billed as "a satirical look into flings".

The album's starkness is initially quite daunting but there are just enough moments to relieve the gloom and which invite the listener to empathize with the artist's lonely predicament.

Elle Mary's website

  author: Martin Raybould

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MARY, ELLE & THE BAD MEN - Constant Unfailing Night