Mary Sarah
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Mary Sarah

Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE

Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Band World Adult Contemporary


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"Mary Sarah - Oh, We"

by Didier Becu

Remarkable voice! That must be the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the works of this American female singer-songwriter. Mary is swirling around the ethnic based music scene like a diva that's been inspired by goth-singers (Diamanda Galas, Lisa Gerrard) and more classic inspired opera-singers. The whole concept of Mary's music is a sort of inner search for the soul.... a wonderful journey in where the listener is confronted with music that is appealing to the more beautiful things that's around in our's even a sort of approach of alternative pop that find its resources in rather uncommon fields...a tip for those who are looking for something else around...... - ORIGINAL SIN NEWSLETTER (BELGIUM)


Yes, it takes the listener to a peaceful place. The music washes over the weary spirit like a refreshing wave. But the most dazzling feature of this album is the way the music entices a musical osmosis to occur within the brain. The flow of the rhythms slowly sink deeper and deeper into the brain until they overtake the listener-almost to the point of a voodoo-like trance. - INDEPENDENT SONGWRITER WEB MAGAZINE

"Mary Sarah~ Oh, We"

By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

This CD has one of the most fascinating and unusual world-new age collections that I have heard in quite some time. Mary Sarah and her gentleman colleague, Danys Levasseur, create a vibrant and dramatic soundscape with various instruments and objects. One of the main instruments is Mary's incredible voice. She gets several octaves high and then drops down into the lower register with equal dexterity. Her high parts reminded me of the old Memorex commercials when Ella Fitzgerald breaks a glass.

I thought that she may be using a variation of African languages on "Kia Mu Ficae," one of the more melodic and entrancing tracks on the CD, she explained that she uses a melismatic methodology. She learned African chants, Indian, and French languages over time and implemented those teachings into one sound or language if you will. There are also root syllables from the various languages, and then everything else flows naturally with the creation of the music. She also told me she plays a soda can and then a wooden crate for a bass on the album! Now that is what I call real roots music.

I found the entire listen mesmerizing. Although it seemed like a short-lived experience, it was a full and rewarding one. Even though this is not the type of music I regularly listen to and write about, I would welcome the opportunity to experience it all over again.


"Mary Sarah, Oh, We"

Fans of Kate Bush will apprecciate the ethereal, haunting beauty of the vocals and piano compositions of the amazing Mary Sarah. Accompanying Sarah on this recording is multi-instrumentalist, Danys Levasseur. On Oh, We Sarah compes fold sounds of the globe into her organic, high-pitched, mesmerizing compositions. Levasseur channels various cultures through ethnic percussion sitar and an instrument that in its very name suggest traditional sounds; the guitoud. Declaring her music, "new world-ambient soul," Mary Sarah suggests the the intersection of Brian Eno, Laura Nyro and Laurie Anderson. - WOMAN ROCK

"Mary Sarah, Oh We"

With a beautiful, angelic voice, and influences ranging from fairly standard, female singer-songwriter folk to African chant, Mary Sarah employs a new twist on vague terms like "new age" and "world music". In place of the mushy, forced emotions that usually come with the worst of new age sounds, Mary Sarah's songs are stark and raw, with genuine intimacy.

The first two, nicely contrasting tracks are the album's most innovative moments. The title track," Oh, We," -- at once loose, bare, spiritual and emotional -- sets a high standard; it's centered on a deep, quivering piano rhythm, with subtle guitar arpeggios and higher piano notes burrowing free of the instrumental muddle. Sarah's voice, which is effectively highlighted by Danys Levasseur's backing vocals, gracefully soars above the arrangement, encouraging a sort of free-spirited levity. "Kie Mu Ficae" follows with a delicate yet playful hierarchy of light beats and hand-claps. Its lack of melodic instruments puts the spotlight on Mary Sarah, who sings in a joyful, staccato-styled African chant-like style.

"O Note of O" and "Never Thought" compress these styles into edible cubes, recalling the work of more conventional female singer-songwriters like Des'ree. Sarah's voice remains the focal point, but unlike the two openers, she portrays more strength than delicacy. Production tricks continually highlight her voice's power: there are blissful sections of "O Note of O" where a few subtle bass tracks are added to the driving, piano bass line, while Sarah's voice abruptly rises by an octave. Such changes catch you off guard, and make you more sensitive to the ebb and flow of Mary Sarah's music. "Never Thought"'s electric guitars give its opening a relatively conventional sound, which quickly grows more unique as Sarah adds textural chanting beneath the main lyrics.

To her credit, Sarah has taken a lot of risks on Oh, We, and pretty much all of them pay off. She applies a natural sense of intimacy to tribal styles without making any of it sound artificial or forced. According to her website, both she and her two backing musicians actually have a much broader range of influences than are represented here, ranging from electronica to Brazilian and Sephardic sounds. I'll be interested to see if they can meld those genres in future albums.

-- Josh Kazman


I Just Can't Say (pre-production Feb/2011 release)
Independent Songwriter Compilations (2008-09)
Oh, We (2004)
O (2001)
Sea Fire Burn (1998)
Blade of Love (1996)
Night Vision - A Rock Opera (1994)

Heard on iTunes, National Digital Distribution, 251 domestic US stations, Canada & Europe



Heralded as, "the voice of the world," by Jim Bohen of The Star Ledger, Sarah has often been cited for the scope and emotion in her voice, the novelty of her lyrics, and compared to the likes of Kate Bush, Sinead O'Conner and Lisa Gerrard.

For the past 14 years, Sarah, who began singing at the age of 11, has worked across Canadian/US borders, with producer Danys Levasseur, a multi-instrumentalist and composer, with whom she enjoyed a prolific musical relationship, creating a unique ambient- world sound and releasing three CDs, "Sea Fire Burn," "O," and "Oh, We."

From this work came live performance collaborations, involving world musicians who were drawn to the evocative, emotional soundscapes created by Sarah and Levasseur. More music poured forth from the duo, opening up a diverse repertoire ranging from Blues to Film Soundtracks.

Continuing the work in 2009, Sarah began a cyber collaboration with composer and producer, Gianluca Quartulli of Bari, Italy, who was fascinated by Sarah's voice and sensibility, and she, his compositions. With the vision of multi-cultural collaboration, Sarah invited 8 artists from 8 different countries to collaborate; writing the music and she the lyrics. Gianluca signed on as engineer and producer and together, ONE WORLD TREE PRODUCTIONS was born.

Slated for release in February, 2011 - "I Just Can't Say," will be the first volume in a series of releases that will explore the use of music to bring people into a deeper connection with each other and an, "ear to the ground," experience of our inspired diversity." Together, Quartulli and Sarah are impassioned to create a forum of multi-cultural work that opens relationships and artistic possibilities.