Sound Advice: Mary Fahl

Saturday • Southgate House Revival

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Mary Fahl’s powerful, dramatic and dynamic voice first came to the public’s attention when she was the founding lead singer of October Project in the mid-’90s. The band’s unique sound earned it a diehard fan base, which continued to grow with the release of its second album for Epic Records, Falling Farther In. But October Project was abruptly dumped by the label after that 1995 release, which marked the end of the band; it has resurfaced in various forms since then (and continues to this day), but Fahl moved on after the initial dissolution.

Since leaving the band, Fahl’s solo career has been fascinatingly unpredictable. Fahl has matched her magically emotive voice (which comes off like a potent mix of Joni Mitchell, Velvet Underground’s Nico, Annie Lennox and Nina Simone) to an appropriately otherworldly soundtrack that has touched on Folk, Classical, Rock, New Age, Americana and World music, but never fully commits to any particular genre, hovering in a headspace all its own.

Fahl’s solo releases (which have been put out by labels like V2, Sony Odyssey and Sony Classical) range from her diverse debut full-length, The Other Side of Time (which featured songs used in the films Gods and Generals and The Guys) to a recreation of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon that is more head-spinningly trippy than The Flaming Lips’ stab at the classic album. More recently, Fahl self-released Love & Gravity, an album that would appeal to fans of her work with October Project and features a song Fahl wrote for longtime fan Anne Rice’s The Wolves of Midwinter audiobook. Last year, Fahl released an expansive live album that included songs from throughout her admirably nonconformist career, which has shown the same singularity as her music.

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