SUNDAY BEST. CD/DL/LP Genre-straddling singersongwriter – sister of Adele producer Paul Epworth.
Mary Epworth’s 2012 debut, Dream Life, was a curious beast, with one foot in pro-gish psych-folk and another in experimental pop. Named after a beetle’s translucent wing-covering carapace, the follow-up is a marginally more focused update, but the innovative essence remains. Granted, the opening brace of Gone Rogue (pedestrian Goldfrapp) and Last Night (minimal synth pop with gratuitous avant-noise section) suggest a wandering muse, but the succeeding Me Swimming effectively hones proceedings, with Epworth’s empyrean, occasionally vocoder-enhanced vocals cresting an infectiously simple, electronic handclap-emblazoned groove à la Bat For Lashes. Watching The Sun Go Down develops the formula, with an antediluvian drum machine and wobbly organ supporting a curiously disquieting chorus (“You should be watching the sun go down with me”) that cedes to an oblique, woodwind-adorned coda, like an offcut from the first Roxy Music album. Big, brave and laudably odd it is, then.