Hitting the right note

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Mary Evans sings under the name Mary Myfanwy.
Camera IconMary Evans sings under the name Mary Myfanwy. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Chance feedback from a neighbour who heard her singing led Bridgetown singer-songwriter Mary Evans to consider music as a career.

Originally she had wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother Sarah and pursue a career in writing.

“I wanted to be a writer, that was the main passion that I had, I always loved English.

“I was going to try to write novels, short stories, poetry, like my mum does.”

Since making her musical debut, Mary has released three albums, From a Warm Room, Of The Heart and The Deepest.

One feature of Mary’s recorded music is that it has sounds like her live performances, something she says is by design.

“When someone comes to my gigs and they buy an album, I always want them to take away what they heard at the gig.

“I wanted it to sound as natural as possible and sometimes I go over the songs a few times just so I can get that energy, the passion and the magic that I had when I first wrote the song.

“I want it to have the energy and magic of a live gig.”

Most of Mary’s music has a pared back sound and usually features her vocals and guitar and little else and she is cautious about expanding her music to include other instruments and effects, preferring to keep the recordings as close to her live performances as possible.

“It’s something I've dabbled with, but it really comes down to the voice and the story for me,” she said.

“I’ll go back and I’ll put on one of my favourite songs of Bob Dylan or Stevie Nicks or something and they are only singing with a guitar and doing vocals in this song and it sounds so good.

“It scrapes everything back and you’re getting to the actual heart of the song, without being distracted by a techno-beat or something.”

Mary says she tries her new material out on her mother Sarah and her sister Esther, but it doesn’t always mean she gets unanimous acclaim from them.

“It’s very nerve-wracking to show what you’ve done, but I trust my family’s instincts and their criticism because they know me the best and Esther has a really good ear.

“Lemon Rind and Sherbert, which is the second song on The Deepest, she actually requested me to write a very simple song and then I got inspiration from something else and I came out with that one.”

Mary still hopes to publish written works in the time she has away from music, but with two or three albums worth of material yet to be released, she said it was a matter of finding the time to devote to writing books and not songs.

“It’s still a dream of mine to come out with a novel some time, I kept waiting for the music to die off and then I would do that, but it hasn’t yet.

“I’m waiting for a chance to get my own novel out there, but we’ll see.

“Now I have material for another two or three albums, so I am planning on recording again, but obviously I hate recording, so I'm going to try and force myself back into the studio.”

More of Mary’s music is available on her family’s website at creationinateapot.com.

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