MHM012 - Another Road (2020)
CD in a cardboard gatefold sleeve with an 8-page lyric booklet.
Another Road is a brand new collection of ten songs written, performed and produced by Mary herself. The songs are inspired, Mary says, by "fragments of personal history," and observations on life in general. Her vocals are intimate yet brushed with her own haunting backing vocals which have become a signature sound. Mary also played keyboards, guitar, percussion and even the accordion inherited from her mother.
Although retired from the music business as such, Mary still writes and records at her home studio. She lives quietly away from the public eye but music is still very much a part of her life.
Another Road is the twelfth release on Mary Hopkin Music, an independent label founded by her daughter, Jessica Lee Morgan (also a singer songwriter), in 2005. The label allowed Mary to release archive and new music, subject to the following rules: no live performing, no touring, no interviews, no autographs. And with the exception of a day of press interviews in 2010, she has done exactly that. She does, however, enjoy the occasional Twitter exchange, and Jessica has given interviews on her behalf.
Jessica and her partner, Christian Thomas, encouraged Mary to learn how to record her own vocals and instruments so that she had complete control over what she did. In support, Christian engineers, mixes and plays bass, and Jessica plays guitar, saxophone and piano and sings when needed, and also runs the label, doing artwork distribution and publicity. They finished the album remotely last month, Mary sending her sessions to Christian to add parts and mix, then receiving mixes back via Dropbox and collaborating on Skype. They would have preferred to work together in person but present circumstances made that impossible.
Spill Magazine gave a glowing review: "Another Road is full of personal songs, stories, and political statements. 10 chapters and 10 glimpses into Hopkin’s world. All of this is set to excellently-recorded, melodic, beautiful songs. And let us not forget that voice. Hopkin sounds phenomenal." Read the full review here.