Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Shae Brock casts a spell on listeners with sultry single ‘Mary Jane’

Arizona native Shae Brock is establishing her own distinct genre of dream-rock, fusing nostalgic Old Hollywood glamour with dark Americana guitars and luscious Lana Del Rey-esque vocals. The multi-talented musician learned piano at age 5, before picking up a guitar at 12 and forming a band at 16. It is clear she has crafted a vision for her own musical world.

Following her ethereal 2020 EP ‘Dreamers Club’, Brock has been busy dropping a string of singles throughout 2021, all of which introduce listeners to the many facets of her sonic journey. From the subdued synths and whispered vocals on ‘Blue’, to the funky basslines and danceable beat of ‘Better Tonight’, as well as ‘Cosmic’, a gentle guitar ballad coloured by a psychedelic groove, Brock proves herself to be anything but a one-trick-pony.

On ‘Mary Jane’, Brock utters breathy incantations, casting a spell on her listeners with a voice that reaches celestial heights. Her luscious vocals are underpinned by a tapestry of psychedelic instrumentation, which reaches a point of shoegaze-y distortion towards its conclusion. Shimmering slide guitars weave a rich melody among subtle basslines and the steady stomp of drums.

The desert landscapes of Brock’s Arizona surroundings are a clear influence on the track, with the twang of guitar strings evoking a Western. The accompanying video directed by Iulia Matei utilises old film cameras and kaleidoscopic visuals to transport the viewer to another time. Autumnal colours saturate snapshots of Brock spinning around woodlands and deserted beaches, wielding a guitar and dressed in bohemian garb à la Stevie Nicks.

‘Mary Jane’ is preceded by a spoken segment establishing the eponymous headstrong persona. She’s “a free woman […] a mysterious woman […] she’s honest, she’s real, she’s true with herself”, or so we are told. This elusive figure “takes your breath at first glance” Brock sings in sultry tones, evoking Alexandra Savior or late-90s Fiona Apple. “The scent of her lingers in the air /whispering secrets in your ear” as  Brock’s accomplished lyricism enables listeners to paint a vivid picture of the titular character.

‘Mary Jane’ sees Shae Brock exploring yet another avenue of musical experimentation, and it certainly pays off, making for a magical listen.


Sarah Taylor


Image: Shae Brock 'Mary Jane' Official Artwork by Iulia Matei

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