I have been speaking with Mary Miller…
and finding out about her latest single, H.D. The songwriter discusses her E.P., Fiction, and how she got into music; why Liverpool’s magic is in her bones and blood; the upcoming artists we need to look out for – Miller chooses three albums that are important to her.
Miller looks ahead to tour dates and what she wants to achieve by the end of the year; if there is any chance to chill and unwind; when music came into her life – Miller selects a great song to end the interview with.
Hi, Mary. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi. There’s been a lot going on which I love; it’ll be good to finally relax, though. You?
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Mary Miller; a singer/songwriter and producer based in Liverpool. I make cinematic, dreamy; dancey soundscapes.
H.D is your new cut. Can you reveal the story behind the song?
H.D is about partying to forget things; specifically, someone who upsets you. It’s about reaching a state of mind where you no longer care - if you’re ‘H.D.’ you’re just free from that uneasiness and feel like you’re able to see everything a little clearer.
There are elements of the 1950s and genres like Trip-Hop and Dream-Pop. Was it a hard song to put together – or do those sounds reflect your musical tastes?!
It’s never a conscious choice to convey a certain genre as much as trying to recreate the song the way I hear it in my head. They come through as a reflection of tastes but, as I have so many elements going into the song, it takes a really long time to get the song to a place I’m happy with - sometimes six months or more!
Your E.P., Fiction, is coming soon. What sort of sounds and themes might we see explored?
Similar to what you’ve heard: ethereal, cinematic soundscapes and, as for themes: attachment and escape.
When did music come into your life? Which artists did you follow when you were young?
I started playing the guitar at nine and started writing songs after learning a few chords; then my mum bought an eight-track tape and I learnt how to record and loop things to make a song. After that, I didn’t get off it.
Liverpool is where you are based. How important is the city’s musical past and present to the music you write?
Massively. The love for music within Liverpool is tangible; without a doubt, it’s my favourite city in the world - I genuinely feel like an adopted Scouser…there’s a huge sense of originality in Liverpool; so many artists with sounds you couldn’t compare to anything you’ve heard before, completely doing their own thing…and it creates an atmosphere unlike anywhere else. The support for artists is also phenomenal: the city really cares about helping up-and-coming artists reach the next level and do everything they possibly can to see that happen.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I hope to have the E.P. out (Fiction) and for people to love it, and to play loads more cities! So far I’ve only played London, Manchester and Liverpool so it would be brilliant to branch out.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
My first gig at The Arts Club - it was just a support slot but it was my first time playing on my own and that was a completely new feeling. I loved it.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I really struggle to pick a Kanye album: it constantly changes but I love how cinematic M.B.D.T.F. is.
Fugees - The Score
Not many albums can touch this! That dark, brooding sound with a gritty Hip-Hop beat driving it definitely had an effect on the music I make.
Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind of Fix
This just completely takes me back to being a teenager - they were, without question, my favourite band growing up and listening now still adore it and go straight back to that place.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
If I could support anyone it would be Kanye. The rider would be loads of Dr. Pepper, loads of chicken nuggets and dogs.
Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
27th September with Laurel at Sound Food and Drink (Liverpool) and then I’m playing Off the Record in Manchester on Friday, 16th November! Also; London on 22nd October at The Old Blue Last. Dates are always updated on my Songkick page, through which you can access through my Facebook, Twitter etc. and follow!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Just make music that sounds good to you.
IN THIS PHOTO: Laurel
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Relaxing usually involves eating and a takeaway. Making music definitely helps me unwind, though - it’s just when you’ve worked on something for a while and get the feeling you’ve been waiting for.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
DUCKWRTH – MICHULL.
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