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The Shapes We Make

by The Mary Timony Band

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The Shapes We Make, the Mary Timony Band’s debut on Olympia’s Kill Rock Stars, represents the latest stage in the evolution of one of the most important voices in underground music. Flowing from the mystic prog laced veins that have informed her art for the past decade, The Shapes We Make builds upon the stark rebellious austerity of 2005’s Ex Hex and imbues it with warmth and formidable urgency. Equal parts clairvoyance and virtuosity, Mary Timony and the musicians that she surrounds herself with paint in broad strokes a vivid landscape of colorful musical shapes.

Timony’s guitar remains at the forefront and she plays with a confidence and flair reminiscent of the guitar work in her former band Helium. On songs such as “Rockman” and “The New Song”, lush instrumentation and the addition of Chad Molter’s powerful bass playing, have freed Mary of the constraints of a duo, allowing room for her guitar to breathe and drummer Devin Ocampo’s polyrhythmic flair to reach percussive apogee. She conjures epic balladry in the airy, music box like charm of “Windows”, which highlights her unique piano voicing and Ocampo’s precise and syncopated drum work. Mary’s signature vocal stylings and lyrics are present throughout and remain esoteric and charged with rich imagery drawn from a vocabulary steeped in symbolism.

Basic tracks for the The Shapes We Make were recorded by Jay Robbins (Jawbox, Dismemberment Plan) at his Baltimore studio, Magpie Cage, in July of 2006 while additional tracking and overdubs were recorded and produced by Ocampo in the attic studio of Timony’s Washington, DC home. Her home studio provided the freedom and sanctuary that allowed Mary to focus on fully realizing her vision and art. Much more than a gifted crafter of melody, Timony is a talented multi instrumentalist, recording among other things, intricately layered keyboards, banjos, analog synths, viola, the melotron and a vintage Casio PT1. Keep an eye out for the upcoming video for the single “Sharpshooter” created by the awe inspiring art collective, Paper Rad ( HYPERLINK ""

Mary Timony’s musical foray began when she attended Washington, D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where she studied guitar, upright bass and viola. In 1990 she went on to play guitar in the all-girl Dischord band Autoclave, which culminated with a 10” self-titled record release in 1991. Timony graduated from Boston University with a degree in English literature and in 1992 stepped-up to front the Boston-based indie trio, Helium. The group, characterized by dynamic guitar shifts amidst a wall of distortion and Timony’s seraphic vocals, issued its first EP Pirate Prude on Matador records in 1994, which was followed-up by The Dirt of Luck LP and Superball+ EP in 1995. It was No Guitars and The Magic City (1997) however, that marked Timony’s footsteps into the prog-rock arena and first exhibited her attraction to fanciful imagery.

In 2000 Timony released her debut solo album Mountains and in 2002 The Golden Dove followed--both Matador releases further developing her nonpareil song craft and all things rock and prog. 2005’s Ex Hex, on Lookout! Records proved a return to form as Timony’s guitar once again took presidency over the keyboards featured on for previous solo efforts and forest imagery moved into the aural backdrop. Timony returned to D.C. and recruited Ocampo for his deft drumming and Fugazi’s Brendan Canty for his production talent prior to recording—these distinctions resulted in an overall post-rock aesthetic and a more raw sound.

The Shapes We Make is an amalgamation of Timony’s musical history—listen closely and you can hear Autoclave guitar licks on “Curious Minds”, and “Window” features Timony’s voice in the high-register, Pirate Prude-style. The prog-rock influence is there but the rougher sound of early Helium comes through on the powerful opener “Sharpshooter” proving that Mary Timony is still moving forward and finding new ways to use all she has learned to make great records.


released May 8, 2007



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Track Name: Sharpshooter
Sharp shooter don't shoot me down
I'm on my way to get home again
No ammunition
Nor no hound could find me when I'm lost in the sound
H.B. with the wounded knee
When you talk, do you talk to me?
I want to fly through all your trees
I want to float on the back of a bee
T. Nugent - What you gonna do?
White tails gunna hunt you down
Do unto you as they've been done
Track Name: Killed By The Telephone
I had some fun with the wildest of friends
They took me to the park and they threw me away in the fens
I wondered all night my hand held like a gun
I wondered 'til I found the light from the city of fun
And this 'don't know mind' I give to this pilgrimage
We go marching by twos and our horses run loose
And we can't go back
That's a natural fact
I see their silver faces following us in the sky
The towns people gathered around the square to see the tightrope walker fight the bear
I am the bear with the dullest of claws made to fight this life on a rope of meaningless laws
And this don't know mind I give to life's pilgrimage
We go marching by twos and our horses run loose and we can't go back that's a natural fact
I see their silver faces following us in the sky
Track Name: Pause/Off
My reaction to your faction?
Go back to school and learn your fractions
Get your laws off my body
Paws off
Supreme court misters
Don't mess around with me and my sisters
I sleep and when I dream I dream of pink clouds
Track Name: Summer's Fawn
Summers gone
Tho' not at all
Summer's fawn's stuck against a wall
Think you're cool?
Well good for you
You're winter's fool
Think it's wise to show that range of motion while some despise any real devotion?
Fly over the ocean
Will we go on when this summer is gone?
Will you be my friend when this summer ends?
Jump back, move on over
We were rolling on in the four leaf clover
Remember the day you were my best friend, well I know it's gunna come back again
So just lie in the tall grass and watch the clouds change their shape
Legends advance while the savages dance
Leaving the hour, this our greatest power
Track Name: Each Day
Each day I pray that you won't go away
I won't get up, I won't get out bed I'll stay all day, and all tomorrow
There are no parties
There is no communion between people when they are sleeping
But when we sleep we dream of the same thing
Do you believe us? They don't believe us
The ending of
The ending of today is today
And then tomorrow
Don't wake them up, to fill an empty cup
Just let them sleep, in sleep they're dreaming that all we are
All we are is the dust of stars and a million molecules of things we'll never know
Track Name: Curious Minds
You're flying high on curiosity
I can tell you just can't let it be
Let it be
The fire is in your unsettled mind
Holding anxious thoughts for all mankind
All mankind
If the universe exists only in your mind,
What will happen when it expands beyond all time?
Blast off!
Track Name: Pink Clouds
The moon is on as we know it
Don't expose it
Interstellar clouds
Don't talk so loud
Intersteller clouds
You act too proud
I orbit you
Your orbit me
And nature courts infinity
You forge the forest through the door
I hike across the kitchen floor
Track Name: Window
I sit outside your window even though I know that you cannot see me
I can see you, watching TV in the afternoon
I can't help it if I believe in your universal truth and beauty
Like the bumble bee
Like the tree
Try to see if you can find me
I'll be hiding right here behind me
Put your hands over my eyes
Running through the garden of our lives
Track Name: Rockman
See the rock man in the woods?
He's a hippyman on the cutting edge
Wearing flowers in his beard
He sings the songs of a psychedelic seer
All of your fashions will fade, like the dawning and ending of days