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My Mothers Children

6 customer reviews

Price: £11.16 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 May 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Proper
  • ASIN: B0017L035S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,701 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Because You're Young
2. Free Grace
3. Honey
4. Concerning A Frozen Sparrow
5. Ballad Of The Talking Dog
6. Pygmalion
7. Meanwhile...
8. The Bell They Gave You
9. Island
10. Exeunt

Product Description

Product Description

In the past two years, Mary has recorded two EPs, Book One (6 songs of refusal) and Book Two (6 songs of hunger) both of which contain various arrangements of traditional songs plus at least one original song. She has recorded with Eliza Carthy as one of The Ratcatchers on Eliza's ‘Rough Music’ and Mary has also co-written and sang lead vocals on Imitation Electric Piano’s last album, with members of ground-breaking band Stereolab. This first solo album is a distillation of Mary's musical influences (which include Anne Briggs, Bob Dylan, Bach, traditional hardinger fiddle music and British bird song). The subjects Mary covers are timeless and the language she uses, raw and poetic; the stories themselves frequently charged with gothic drama and mystery. The album contains eleven original songs, which focus in various ways on our uncomfortable relationship with the familiar. "A woman who appears to have spent much of her life attempting to imitate the shimmer of wind-chimes. The effect is mesmerizing" - The Guardian Tracks: Because You're Young / Free Grace / Honey / Concerning A Frozen Sparrow / Ballad Of The Talking Dog / Pygmalion / Meanwhile… / The Bell They Gave You / Island / Exeunt.

Review

"A woman who appears to have spent much of her life attempting to imitate the shimmer of wind-chimes. The effect is mesmerizing"
-- The Guardian

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. J. Harding on 15 May 2009
Format: Audio CD
I originally bought this record on the strength of some very enthusiastic newspaper reviews and a track included on the excellent `This is Navigator Records' sampler.

The album I guess would fall under either the `nu-folk' or `psychedelic-folk' genres but to pigeonhole the record is to do it a disservice. There is an awful lot going on throughout the album and some of it is pretty creepy. The majority of the tracks are sparse affairs with an acoustic arrangement underpinned by Mary's often unnerving witch like vocal. That is not to underplay the complexity of the pieces because much thought has clearly gone into some unusual time signatures and methods of instrument tuning.

Familiar touchstones are awfully hard to identify and the strongest comparison I can make is with James Yorkston from some of his `traditional' recording sessions like `Fearsome Fairytale lovers'. This is an outstanding debut album, oblique and original and is going to be a tough act to follow for this very promising talent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vince on 15 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is abstract art crafted beautifully and uniquely into music,forget any comparisons beacuse you won't find any.
This album is the stuff of sweet dreams and nightmares at the same time, enchanting, thought provoking, unnerving yet serene too.Grimms fairy tales come to mind.
Quite simply it is a tapestry of cleverly woven songs which produces an album you've never heard the likes of before but will want to hear more of for sure. Mary Hampton has the voice of a Nightingale, sweet yet mysterious. One of the best albums I have heard in ages, yet that depends on the listener. It's grabbed me anyway. Strange yet beautiful just like the finale about Florence Foster Jenkins, look her up on the web.
Folk music is alive and well thanks to Mary.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. O'Brien VINE VOICE on 24 May 2008
Format: Audio CD
Look at the pictures on Mary Hampton's MySpace page and you'll see an unusual woman of uncertain age with a handsome, if not a pretty face; a little reminiscent of the younger Maggie Smith. Listen to her songs and you'll hear a voice that threatens to invoke the late Sandy Denny in all her keening, desperate glory. Read her lyrics, and you can discern the stripped and pitiless shades of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath.

Yet despite these points of comparison that flit in and out of her art like moths to the flame, Mary Hampton is at heart a true original. Unlike fabled pre-war "opera singer" Florence Foster Jenkins whose chutzpah Hampton sweetly applauds in the album's final song, she has an unearthly talent to accompany her artistic courage and she is by no means afraid of experiment or exploration.

At first listen the songs seem gentle, at home within their folk flavourings and starkly simple arrangements, yet strange cruelties soon emerge: a stuffed dog, a lost doll, a skinned eel. Animals - dying stags, "sea-beast clouds" - stalk through every song and human emotion is visceral, never sentimental. Birth is heralded by "a strange scream in the high night", death comes to an island valley with "eyes all ablaze".

Hampton's vocal lines are not so much melodies as weather systems, swirling and twisting through a musical landscape populated not only by guitar and piano but by cello, wurlitzer, stamping and whistling, speech and snail shells. Some of the songs - like domestic epic Ballad Of The Talking Dog - tell stories as surreal as the Magritte print on the album cover. Others are content to suggest and evoke a singular atmosphere, as the tumbling piano which cascades through The Bell They Gave You suggests a carillon for a childbirth.

Forget the retro rehashes of divas like Amy Winehouse. This kind of talent, though rooted in the long history of the natural world, is truly new-minted.
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