New EP out on October 18, 2019
Five songs that capture the essence of the human being: spiritual, physical, and intimate
“Arresting.” – Joel Selvin, legendary SF Bay Area critic
Velocity means the speed of something in any given direction, and it took a while for songwriter/musical artist Mary Ann V to arrive with her latest EP, @MaryAnnVelocity.
Now it’s set for release on October 18, 2019 (digital-only) via her label, MAV Records. Mary Ann produced and recorded the music for this EP at Escape Velocity in Santa Monica, California (her own studio) using various techniques from traditional to modern. She recorded her vocals at 4th Street Recording (Nelly Furtado, No Doubt, The Beach Boys), also in Santa Monica, with Andreas Kvinge Sandnes, acclaimed mix engineer, musician, and friend. This in-depth musical endeavor offers sounds of folk, pop, hip-hop, rap, and indie/rock-n-roll elements.
The complexity of Mary Ann’s music comes from her background as an acoustic songwriter by nature, woven into a musical fabric that allows her to stretch the songs into new realms. Using electronic sounds and loops which compliment her voice, Mary Ann’s music may remind listeners of artists as diverse as Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, Jewel, and Joni Mitchell. Paired with her thought-provoking lyrics, she offers a full and robust musical experience. With the release of @MaryAnnVelocity, Mary Ann lands with her message of love.
“When we box ourselves into labels according to mistaken notions about humanity and sexuality, we harm ourselves, each other, and our world.” – Mary Ann
When she took an online recording class at the respected Berklee College of Music, Mary Ann didn’t realize just how much she would get out of it. Having intended to take one class and then record her songs, that one class yielded “Who Made It Be That Way” which features John Mason on bass. John is a nationally recognized musician as well as a Berklee student who recorded the part while on a layover during a tour. The results of that class inspired Mary Ann to apply to Berklee’s online degree program. Thanks to the encouragement of her professors and her classmates, Mary Ann has now completed this EP, and a music video for “Who Made It Be That Way.” Other musical guests on this record include Denny Croy (upright bass), James Thompson (saxophone and clarinet), and Andreas Kvinge Sandnes (bass guitar and various electronic instruments).
Each song has a cinematic delivery: Tackling both life and death situations; Mary Ann’s poetic viewpoints convey many emotions, including love, frustration, patience, and hope – the basic elements that make up humankind.
- “Be Kind to Strangers” is a pop song with a brilliant message of just plain being nice to each other. “There is a time to be shy / And a time to be bolder/, And there is nothing is colder than ‘the shoulder.’” This song has a playful melody that eases the fears we have of facing the real world.
- “But I Wonder” takes the emptiness of a missed connection as a call to revision life and love: “This song is my pledge of allegiance to the goal of no longer giving time and energy to wrong thinking and the self-doubt that creates, but rather, to be myself, connect with others in the spirit of love, and encourage others in their quests to do the same. As an artist, I can be exactly as I am, develop my understanding, and share my vision with the world.”
- The third song on @MaryAnnVelocity is called “Evicted,” a term we associate with being thrown out of our homes, but Mary Ann saw something different. After first reading about a man who got crushed to death in his pick-up truck, she found a newspaper headline that read, ‘Flying Heifer Kills Motorist’ and the verses were born. “You might still wonder, “Why ‘evicted?’ when these freak accidents happened to drivers? “I’ve always used music to share my artist’s perspective with the world, but to pay the bills, I have been trained and work as a paralegal. Law offices are extremely hierarchical, and no matter what you learn or know, you are not permitted to speak from a place of knowledge because, by law, only attorneys can do that. That’s why the bridge of “Evicted” contains the qualifier: “Don’t mistake what I’m saying now / This isn’t legal advice / But steering clear of falling trees and flying cows / Would be nice!”
“It’s simply common sense that we’d all like to avoid accidents and disasters. But sometimes, the universe has other plans. The point is to be in the here-and-now in our lifetimes, connect in a loving spirit, and be safe on the road.” – Mary Ann
- As life imitates art, Mary Ann delicately collaged her words together for “Who Made It Be That Way,” a song that saw many levels of evolution before the final cut. Her professional life as a family law paralegal gave her insight into how to help those suffering from abuse. In her own words: “The hip-hop rhythm and rap elements allowed me to tell the complete story I wanted to tell. This song isn’t just about a family coping with child abuse, neglect, and domestic violence; it’s about the havoc those things wreak on children and how that havoc continues to play out in the lives of the adults they become. It’s also about the suffering caused by not listening to children, and it questions where that modus operandi”
- Ending her EP with the Lee Ann Womack country cross-over classic, “I Hope You Dance,” Mary Ann has made it into a dance track that completes the EP as a standout. The mix of electronic sounds against the encouraging message breathes new life into this 20-year-old Grammy winner. Dancing is a way to celebrate life as well as to heal from its challenges. Mary Ann’s sister introduced her to this song years ago, and here, with Andreas Kvinge Sandnes’ co-production, she makes it her own.
About Mary Ann:
Mary Ann was born and raised in a working-class family in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. As a Catholic girl who attended public school, she found refuge from suburbia in music, first by listening to it and later by picking up the guitar and beginning to write.
“As a child, I used to sing into my jump rope handle in my backyard and swing the rope around the way Cher did during her performances on the Sonny & Cher show. I knew then that I wanted to be a performer.”
Her early influences come from the household music collection: Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, John Denver, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and The Sound of Music and West Side Story films and soundtracks. When her sister got a Suzi Quatro album from a friend as a birthday gift, she gave it to Mary Ann. “That was my first introduction to a girl playing rock music. After that, I got all of Suzi Quatro’s albums!” laughs Mary Ann. She was a Suzi Q-fanatic!
As a young teen, Mary Ann started taking guitar lessons and learning to read music but became bored. She wanted to play what she heard on the radio, and soon a new teacher opened that window: Eric Clapton, Santana, Allman Brothers, Blue Oyster Cult, and influential women writers like Patti Smith, Rickie Lee Jones, and Joni Mitchell.
After graduating high school and leaving the Midwest for California on her own, Mary Ann spent time playing at coffeehouses and other small venues with fellow singer-songwriters. She worked as a non-union electrician for several years. Later, after sustaining an injury, she obtained a paralegal certificate and began her work in legal advocacy. Mary Ann has continued to work in the legal field, primarily in family law, but music has always been her first love.
Mary Ann’s idea for the @MaryAnnVelocity cover art was at first meant to be humorous, yet it truly conveys the spirit of this artist and her music. Shown riding to shore on the scallop shell as Venus did in Sandro Botticelli’s famous painting, Mary Ann arrives on the scene at the only speed at which she can travel—at Mary Ann Velocity—thanks to Sandro Botticelli, graphic artists Scott Hermann and Gary Avrech, and photographer Mari Linville.
Mary Ann will be a guest on Best2Podcast on 10/17 with a Facebook Live session during the actual interview between 5-5:30 PM Pacific Time. Best2Podcast’s Facebook live streaming will be from their page profile: https://www.facebook.com/Best2podcast/ – full podcast interview broadcast is usually within 24 hours of the taping, but we will alert fans via Mary Ann’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MaryAnnVelocity/
Mary Ann will be playing Harvelle’s on 10/22 at 8:30 PM in Santa Monica, CA