Across every indie festival lineup in the past year and every London guitar venue’s listings, the name mary in the junkyard has appeared unrelentlessly. With just a few live sessions and the occasional gig being captured to be put on YouTube, a buzz has grown that has turned the young trio into something akin to folklore; Often sighted, much talked about, but never truly heard. Now, though, with their debut single ‘Tuesday’, the newest outfit to breakout of the London live circuit can show to all that they’re worth the hype.
Opening with the immediate breathiness of singer Clari Freeman-Taylor’s voice alongside her melancholy guitar, there’s an unavoidable pull to the track as you try to absorb every articulation in her delivery. In its initial intimacy, though, ‘Tuesday’, hides a dark and tense energy that quickly becomes apparent. Blooming into its full heft with the arrival of bassist and viola player Saya Barbaglia and drummer David Addison, the track explodes revealing a Radiohead-esque alt-rock portrait of turmoil.
Even before consuming the words pouring out, an aura of discontent and yearning becomes apparent through the trio’s performance and the swirling dissonance sat just behind the band. Digging into the words only reinforces that unease, as the repeating pleading of “I made something of myself // I was meant for somewhere else” unearths the tense restlessness in their lives.
As Freeman-Taylor explains “I wrote ‘Tuesday’ when I was first experiencing life in a city and was feeling very small. It’s so easy to be swept along with the bustle and noise and feel like a worker ant amidst thousands of others. I wanted to write about my yearning for chaos and realness – we all have wildness within us that we might be suppressing and we shouldn’t feel like aliens because of it.”
In aiming for that chaos, mary in the junkyard travel a dynamic and emotive range in one song that many struggle to find across a whole career. Through one song alone, the trio manage to put themselves in the running for the capital’s most vital band in recent years. Luckily, there’s more to come.
Words: Varun Govil // Photo: Steve Gullick
‘Tuesday’ is out now via AMF Records. Find the track on streaming services here.