REVIEW: Hayley Mary shrugs off Jezabels shadow with The Drip

CROWNING MOMENT: The Drip reaffirms Hayley Mary's status as an accomplished solo artist.

CROWNING MOMENT: The Drip reaffirms Hayley Mary's status as an accomplished solo artist.

THERE was a period a decade ago when Hayley Mary fronted the band touted by critics as the future of the Australian indie-rock scene in The Jezabels.

The Sydney band's debut album Prisoner won the 2011 Australian Music Prize and produced a modern classic in Endless Summer.

However, there was always a sense that the grand orchestral arrangements and push towards synths, courtesy of the classically-trained Heather Shannon, wasn't a natural fit for Mary.

She's an old-fashioned rock'n'roll singer, brimming with swagger and a wicked sense of humour.

That became apparent when Mary released her title track The Piss, The Perfume off her debut EP in early last year.

The second EP The Drip opens with the line, "you're attention, for a moment." While Mary politely asks for attention, this seven-track EP firmly demands it.

It builds on the success of The Piss, The Perfume and it's '60s UK garage sound, but with extra layers of melody and pop production.

A Boy Called Rock 'N Roll is the sweetest cut on the record and a love song to Mary's past heroes, while Would You Throw A Diamond, co-written with boyfriend and DMA's guitarist Johnny Took, is a frenetic rush of warped guitar and power drumming as Mary almost takes on a punkish vocal.

The title track is another nod to Mary's heroes The Pretenders as she sings of rediscovering her drive for music while working in an Edinburgh cafe serving bad coffee to tradies a mere year after performing in front of ecstatic crowds in The Jezabels.

Hayley Mary - The Drip

Sullen Kink shows off Mary's incredible vocal range over soaring anthemic guitars and is the closest she gets to revisiting her past glories.

While lyrically there are dark moments, The Drip is mostly a playful record.

The EP finishes with celebratory single The Chain where Mary sings "I would go anywhere with you."

Everything on The Drip is bigger and more confident.

After the successful test launch Hayley Mary sounds ready to leave The Jezabels behind to carve out her own legacy as a solo artist.

4 stars

This story The Drip makes bigger splash for Hayley Mary first appeared on Newcastle Herald.