Monday, June 14, 2010

Mary Gauthier

I was recently made aware of Mary Gauthier (pronounced Go-Shay), a folk singer-songwriter from Nashville, TN. She started writing music at the age of 35 and has since put out seven albums, garnering acclaim from The New York Times, Billboard, and others. Gauthier's latest release, The Foundling, is an autobiographical concept album about her quest to find her mother, who gave her up for adoption at birth. Gauthier did find her mother but was denied a meeting (harsh), and the album details her fractured identity and feelings of abandonment and whatnot.

Gauthier's songs are extremely revelatory and introspective, and that works both to her advantage and detriment. The Foundling as a whole describes a heart-breaking story that is told with incredible passion and set to some great music, and listening to it is like reading a novel or watching a movie. The tracks don't hold up quite as well on their own, however, as they sometimes sound fragmented and overly melodramatic when stripped of their context. But Gauthier's best songs work no matter how you listen to them, such as "Drag Queens and Limousines" or the carnivalesque "Sideshow."  I particularly enjoy the sweeping "Blood is Blood." You can check out all of these songs on her MySpace, or download "Sideshow" below.

MP3: Mary Gauthier - Sideshow 

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