Mary Ep­worth

Ely­tral

Mojo (UK) - - News - David Shep­pard

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.

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