By: Staff –
Acclaimed alt-pop singer-songwriter Mary Jennings is back with her new album, Matriarch, which you can stream exclusively via Aesthetic Magazine below.
“I honestly didn’t know I had another album in me,” said Jennings. “I had been so focused on being a good mom that music had taken a bit of a backseat. When the pandemic hit and I was homeschooling Eliza (my at the time 3.5 almost 4 year old daughter) full time and was isolated from friends and family, I realized how much I still needed music and became more determined than ever to figure out a way to make it work. With the help of Ryan Youmans (co-producer, engineer, mixer and parent of two small children I might add), I learned how to set up and start tracking and producing from home. Every musician involved in the project did their parts from their own spaces! Now I know I have so much more than just an album left in me and I need to give my child a model to look to and not a martyr. I don’t need to sacrifice my art to be a great parent. I need to merge my worlds. That’s a huge part of how the album, “Matriarch,” was born…get it born? #momjoke”
Jennings is one of the most impactful artists in the industry today. She lets her emotion flow through her to her fingers as she plays and her voice as she sings. You wouldn’t expect it if you looked at her. She seamlessly tells us through music everything in her heart and we feel along with her. Her lyrics are relatable, poetic, and inquisitive. She only emphasizes her talents in her new album Matriarch, which consists of alt-pop ballads that sound a little like a mix of P!nk and Julia Michaels with a hint of Jasan Mraz. She wrote this album with inspiration from the pandemic, her daughter, friends, and the 20 year anniversary of her mother’s death. She says “I share these emotions with others because I know so many have felt the same things. If I can create melodies and deliver words that express their feelings, I’ve done my job.”
Each song on the album tells a story. While they are separate from each other, they all brilliantly interconnect. Most tell a story of grief and pain, most notably “Hard” as she calls out “Someone, anyone.” This song speaks of feeling so alone even though you are surrounded by people who care about you. “Not Yet” is a song about the proverbial tomorrow, how one day she can talk about her grief, but not yet. “Patient” explores the deep national pain of the pandemic. It’s her most relatable song on the album and the most She sings “They’re all names to me.” She sings of isolation and seeing all the names of people that died, that she’s “gonna wait until I can sing their names” to highlight what the pandemic did to so many people. “Withdrawal,” the most raw on the album, explores her coping with her grief. She sings “I’m looking in the mirror and I don’t recognize me” and “How long will it take to be undone” as she exploits alcohol and drugs to fill the emptiness within her. The deep piano emphasizes the heaviness she feels and drags us down to.
While most of her songs explore grief, sadness, and melancholy, not every song is so heavy. “Matriarch,” the title song, poetically and artistically explores motherhood. She sings “I look into the eyes of the future and see the future.” A powerful ballad about the powerful woman of the world, the matriarchy of our pasts. She pays tribute to the strength of generations of women, passed down from mothers to daughters. “Liar” also has more of an upbeat melody to it. It explores motherhood as well, this time more personally. She sings “I don’t mind being a liar,” a parenting skill she uses because kids don’t need to grow up too fast. She talks about how she wants to do right by her daughter, teach her, but also keep her safe from the world.
Jennings never fails to give us herself. She’s unapologetically unique. She’s single handedly carving her name into music history. No other artist is as pure or raw as she. She will one day be the influence of young musicians looking to find their way. She’s using her craft and her gift to help us cope, whether that be with pain or with the pandemic. She is the everyman of music and her boisterous voice and catchy melodies allows us to feel just as much as she does.