First Impression : Mary Miller : I Found Heaven
FOCUS Wales is a brilliant weekend if you want to actively discover or stumble upon new music. 2018 was a vintage eighth edition - exemplified on a compact stage upstairs in one of Wrexham's town centre bars by an entrancing performance from Liverpool-based Mary Miller.
In an exhaustive list of influences on Miller's Facebook profile Wutang Clan, Best Coast, Fleetwood Mac and The Jesus & Mary Chain improbably abut; distill it down and her music is a mix of electronica, hip hop influence, reverberating 50s guitar and pop-clear vocals fused into mesmeric soundscapes. Whatever the hinterland, the compositions have exactly the right impact. The uncluttered arrangements create a reverie similar in spirit to that found listening to Portishead's debut or later Talk Talk albums; set in the shifting musical textures and emotionally sung, the lyrics are sharp, personal and expressive.
Around the FOCUS Wales show a clutch of further well received live performances, including Liverpool Sound City and The Great Escape, marked the way to a single, I Found Heaven, released on 22nd June. The new track is a drift of captivating dream pop punctuated by emphatic rhythms. In its slowly smoldering sketch of yearning and regret lines such as 'I let the wrong end of my cigarette burn my mouth' spark with drama and connotation.
Taken on its own I Found Heaven should identify Mary Miller as a rare songwriter and music maker - add in the enchantment of the live show, and the EP that is planned to follow it must be hugely anticipated.
MARY MILLER I I Found Heaven