If you wanted to hear an Ultra Pagan woman's voice sounding out from the Australian Outback, with a breath of Baroque rock, hey, you got Maryen Cairns and her newest album "ANEW" for that.
She is the daughter of a Scottish religious academic, and spent time in Australia, but lives in Guernsey (a tiny island on the English channel). She has a very "Kate Bush" approach to her singing, but you feel the spirit of something so much more powerful.
We went off on tangents about history, and other pieces of her history, like the fact that she sang backup for, and toured with FISH, from Marillion. She has an array of beautiful work, that just hits you in the weirdest places.
Sometimes music can be transformative for both the listener and the one creating it. With Maryen Cairns, her seventh studio album, ANEW, caused a shift in her core song writing process that seemed to flow with ease like water down a stream. “It was like a switch clicked inside my head and suddenly I was creating music from a new perspective, writing sidewards, out of the corner of my eye” she says. - Charlie Maybee
I first came across Maryen some 30 years ago when she had returned to the UK from the Australia where she had grown up. After being back for some 11 years she headed back to Australia, releasing some incredible albums, before deciding to head north again and make her home in Guernsey. One of the consequences of this relocation from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere, which was soon followed by all the restrictions caused by Covid, has been ongoing deep solitary introspection and self-reflection. This period of introspection has resulted in this delicate ballad, with gentle piano and some acoustic guitar, all recorded by Maryen at home before being sent to her long-time producer and mentor Chris Kimsey to add the finishing touches.
When I first heard ‘The Pictures Within’ I was blown away by the wonderful vocals and range of this incredible talent, and all these years later she still has the power to capture and entrance. This is the second single of the year, and I can only hope that this means we are moving towards a new album as it has been way too long since ‘Come To Me’. There is no rush here, and in some ways feels as if it belongs in a Church, such is the feeling of communion which comes with this. The only way to listen to this is to concentrate deeply when it is on headphones as it is the only way to really savour the inner strength and beauty of this remarkable song. 8/10 Kev Rowland
"she allows her vocals to soar and the electric guitar break is quite superb as it transforms the piece.
Overall this is a more varied album than ‘Femina Australis’, yet still manages to retain her roots, so she uses a steel when the time is right, or a violin, and plenty of piano and warm fretless bass. It is again the album of a mature artist who is confident in her ability and songwriting skills. She can put an edge on her vocals, or just lift them up showing her soprano range, or let it come down lower to provide more emotion. Lyrics are incredibly important to Cairns, and each song really is a story in its own right"
- Kev Rowland
House Of Prog
17 November 2019
"The album is like a history lesson put to music, and I haven’t come across anything quite like this before."
"overall it is an incredible piece of work, and “Welcome To Country” in particular is incredibly infectious and easy to sing along with. This is the work of an artist who has matured and changed over the years."
Cheers To The Vikings
27th September 2019
This new catchy song ‘Steam’ from Maryen Cairns and produced by Chris Kimsey, not only demands your attention for being as creative as it is… but it didn’t take much before we fell head over heels in love with her voice. Maryen Cairns might just be one of our favorite artists this month.