Cynthia G. Mason

Cynthia G. Mason

 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
SoloFolkSinger/Songwriter

Hushed acoustic indie rock: "Like Damien Jurado or Red House Painters, Mason mines delicate moments for emotional heft while stoking a haunted, dusky vibe. Potent stuff.” (Philadelphia Weekly) Cynthia's songs have been compared to Cat Power’s “oblique emotional poetics” and Suzanne Vega’s “tender snapshots.” (Time Out New York) Brian McTear (Sharon Van Etten, Dr. Dog) produced her new EP, which will be released on June 16, 2015.

Biography

Cynthia G. Mason’s haunting voice and delicate guitar work create a mood not unlike that of her hometown Philadelphia itself— a mix of melancholy and hope. Philebrity called her music's edgy darkness "like a hypnotic sesh watching old Super 8 movies of people you don’t know." Time Out New York wrote that "her graceful, understated songs frequently awed clubs full of noisy chatterers into silence."

After several solo self-releases on cassette beginning way back in the 90's, Cynthia released her eponymous album in 2000.  She was later featured on the cover of the Philadelphia City Paper.  She appeared on BC Camplight’s album Hide, Run Away (One Little Indian, 2005,) singing on several songs, including “Blood and Peanut Butter,” which was featured on Grey's Anatomy.  The Believer Magazine included Cynthia’s quiet, stirring cover of Richard Buckner's "Surprise, AZ" in their music issue compilation.  In 2007, the High Two label released Cynthia’s album Quitter's Claim, a collection of stark, intimate songs she recorded in her apartment and with longtime collaborator Larry D. Brown.

In June 2015, Cynthia released Cinematic Turn.  She recorded the new album at Miner Street Recordings with producer Brian McTear and engineer Amy Morrissey.  The five new songs feature Peter English on keyboards, Ramon Monras-Sender on bass, and Christopher Sean Powell on drums. Magnet Magazine wrote that the new album “is aptly titled,” that the “music is as vivid, evocative and narratively compelling as a film.”

Lyrics

Telltale Song

Written By: Cynthia G. Mason

You came along early morning a telltale song a thousand ways to get it wrong from that first cry the cut of cloth the lullaby you drew a crowd late morning and we both vowed a thousand times as if to hear it out loud in that first light could keep up our morale all night there are doubts that can only be under lock and key in the heart’s armory anyone who is quick to deny it is lying and there’s trouble within and there’s trouble without but on love we don’t harbor a single doubt we won’t take The Drive Tuesday morning we’ll do 25 a thousand horns serenading us as we arrive and then you’ll wake the care in each new call we make we couldn’t tell day from evening as the sun fell it seemed a thousand hours ago everyone wishing us well and now here we are from dawning day to evening star

One More Trip Back East

Written By: Cynthia G. Mason

Sons will gather round sit for every breath start for any sound any harbinger of death you will flinch then fret over what went wrong he split to forget but now it won’t be long I think you both know he got here just in time to let her go so he won’t come unwound and you won’t kneel to pray but that history is bound to still get in the way by fire by flood by beast a peaceful passing is rare one more trip back East is more than he can bear but I think you both know he got here just in time to let her go we will sense our kin and town in the twists and turns we take on the way up and way down in the roots of each mistake we’re in this diner booth coffee is getting cold trading stories from our youth all the ones he never told and I think you both know he got here just in time to let her go

Evergreen

Written By: Cynthia G. Mason

Evergreen you’ll stay evergreen you’ll break for the winter it won’t be today but it will work its way out like a splinter the property hangs for things you can’t plan will witnesses pick the wrong man oh call an ambulance before the fade make this innocence a fair trade there’s been upheaval since they left but you stayed every other day you’re put on the spot and it hits you put things away you break evergreen into bits the company wants a crack at the plan but you’re moving as fast as you can

Discography

Cinematic Turn (Self-Released, June 16, 2015)

Vocals and Guitars: Cynthia G. Mason
Keyboards: Peter English
Bass: Ramon Monras-Sender
Drums: Christopher Sean Powell

Recorded at Miner Street Recordings, Philadelphia, PA
Produced by Brian McTear
Engineered by Amy Morrissey
Mixed by Matt Schimelfenig
Additional engineering and production assistance by Matt Poirier
Mastered by Paul Hammond and Paul Sinclair at Fat City Studio
Cover artwork by Amy Morrissey
Design by The Design Studio

Quitter's Claim (High Two, 2007)   

Vocals and Guitar: Cynthia G. Mason
Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica: Larry D. Brown

Recorded at Cynthia's Apartment and Borrowed Land Studio
Engineered by Cynthia G. Mason and Larry D. Brown
Produced and mixed by Larry D. Brown
Mastered by The SoundLab
Photograph by Cynthia G. Mason
Design by the Design Studio

Hide, Run Away (One Little Indian, 2005), by BC Camplight  
        The Song "Blood & Peanut Butter," featuring Cynthia's vocals, on TV show Grey's Anatomy

Vocals, Piano, Keys, Guitars, Bass: BC Camplight
Vocals: Cynthia G. Mason
Trumpet: Nathan Slabaugh
Cello: Erin Ryan
Bass: Ramon Monras-Sender, Sean Byrne
Drums: Bill Avayou

Recorded at Miner Street Recordings
Produced by Brian McTear and BC Camplight
Engineered by Brian McTear at Miner Street Recordings
Mastered by Paul Hammond and Paul Sinclair at Fat City Studio
Design by Dan Levine                     

The Believer Music Issue (The Believer Magazine, 2005)       
        Cover song of "Surprise, Arizona"  by Richard Buckner

Vocals and Guitar: Cynthia G. Mason  

Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Bill Moriarty       

Burlap Palace, Muscle Shoals Tribute (Soundgun Recordings, 2001)
        Cover song of "Please Be With Me" by Cowboy

Vocals and Guitar: Cynthia G. Mason
Dobro, Bass: Mike Brenner
Keys: Greg Castano
Backup Vocals: Thais Stiklorius

Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Edan Cohen at Soundgun
Assistance by Jimmy Johnson Productions
Mastered by Alan Douches at West Westside Music   

Cynthia G. Mason (Self-Released, 2000)  

Vocals and Guitars: Cynthia G. Mason
Guitars: Todd Wacha, Matthew Schwed
Sax, Flute: Jon Thompson
Bass: Steve Siciliano
Violin: Alexandra Cutler-Fetkewicz
Viola: Teddy Sainpor
Cello: Carolyn James
Organ: Amber de Laurentis   
Drums: Christopher Sean Powell   

Recorded at Soundgun, Philadelphia, PA
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Edan Cohen at Soundgun
Mastered by Alan Douches
Design by Electrofork    

Critical Neighborhood Map (Self-Released on Cassette, 1998)  

Vocals and Guitar: Cynthia G. Mason

Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Cynthia G. Mason   

Untitled (Self-Released on Cassette, 1996)   

Vocals and Guitar: Cynthia G. Mason

Recorded and mixed by Cynthia G. Mason
Engineered by Jon Madof