Tag Archives: Zero She Flies

2015 Records of the Year – Not only but also…

My self-imposed rules for album of the year restricts the list to full-length albums of new material. That means it excludes live albums, unplugged records with new versions of existing songs, or EPs. So to keep you all waiting a bit longer for my Album of the Year, some mentions of records that my rules disqualify, but are too good to be ignored altogether.

Panic Room – Essence

Panic Room EssenceThe Kickstarter-funded unplugged album reworks favourites from the band’s first three albums into radically different forms, resulting in a beautiful record than emphasises Anne-Marie Helder’s remarkable vocal talent. Though it crosses the streams with the acoustic side-project Luna Rossa to some extent it’s still got more of a Panic Room vibe. It’s not entirely acoustic, since new guitarist Dave Foster cuts loose on electric a few times. There are a couple of new songs too, the classic Anne-Marie Helder ballad “Rain & Tears & Burgundy”, and “Denial”, the first time Panic Room have ever recorded a blues number.

Mostly Autumn – Box of Tears

Mostly Autumn Box of TearsA live recording of last year’s “Dressed in Voices”, an album regarded by many as their career defining masterpiece. Unlike their other recent live albums this one’s a single disk of the Dressed in Voices set rather than the whole show (Do we really need yet another live version of “Evergreen” or “Heroes”? I don’t think so). But like those other live albums it does capture the power and intensity of the Mostly Autumn’s live performances, the big sound of the seven-piece band at full tilt.

The Fierce and The Dead – Magnet

TFATD - MagnetMatt Stevens’ four-piece instrumental noise merchants could be described as a sort of punk version of King Crimson. Their latest EP sees a move away from the garage-rock feel of their last record. “Spooky Action”. Magnet is darker and denser, with more of a focus on the post-rock and electronica side of their music. Like all of their records, it has feet in many camps, defies simple categorisation, and makes a rewarding listen for anyone who wants to get out of their musical comfort zones.

Mantra Vega – Island

A taster from the forthcoming album “The Illusion’s Reckoning”, three songs with a strong 70s classic rock vibe with echoes of Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin. The lead song in particular is lovely, with Heather Findlay playing to her strengths as a vocalist, and features a short but very effective guitar break from Dave Kilminster.

Zero She Flies – The River

Zero She Flies - The RiverThe band formerly know as Mermaid Kiss return with a new singer in the shape of Maria Milewska and a new name. The four-track suite “The River” was originally slated to be part of a full-length album, but has mow been spun off as a separate EP on its own. It’s largely acoustic, piano and acoustic guitar based songs with woodwind and strings for colour, plus some touches of electronica, and Maria Milewska proves to be excellent singer. Highlights are the woodwinds meet trip-hop instrumental “The Undertow” and the gorgeously atmospheric closing number “Rivergirl”, but the whole EP is excellent.

Big Big Train – Wassail

Big Big Train WassailThis intermediate release filling the gap before their next full-length album eschews ambitious multi-part epics in favour of more straightforward songwriting. But most of the things we’ve come to expect from Big Big Train are present; big soaring melodies and rich layered arrangements that evoke the spirit of 70s pastoral progressive rock with lyrics steeped in English landscapes and history. The largely instrumental keyboard-heavy “Mudlarks” ticks a lot of classic prog-rock boxes, but with the woodwinds, violins and 12-string guitars there’s also an element of 70s electric folk-rock. It’s all delightfully retro in its use of vintage guitars and keyboard sounds, but that’s always been a major part of their appeal.

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Zero She Flies – The River

Zero She Flies, the band formerly known as Mermaid Kiss, follow up their earlier single “Small Mercies” with the four-track EP “The River”, available today as a download from Bandcamp.

The EP features a number of guest musicans including Panic Room’s Jon Edwards alongside the core quartet of Maria Milewska, Jamie Field, Wendy Marks and Shane Webb. More detail including full credits and lyrics can be found on the band’s website.

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Zero She Flies – Small Mercies

Zero She Flies new single is now released as a download from Bandcamp, CDBaby and Amazon.

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Zero She Flies about to take flight

Maria MilewskaZero She Flies, the band that evolved out of Mermaid Kiss are about to release their first music. A download single “Small Mercy” will be released very shortly, to be followed by a four track EP called “The River”.  The release date will be announced in the next few days.

Zero She Flies are:
Maria Milewska – lead and backing vocals, piano, keyboards, flute, sequencing
Jamie Field – guitars
Wendy Marks – cor anglais, oboe, recorders, double bass,
Shane Webb – bass, backing vocals

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Zero She Flies news

Jamie Field has given us an update on Zero She Flies, the band formerly known as Mermaid Kiss. The most exciting news is that the new album, ‘Strange Heaven’ is now recorded and is currently being mixed.

The recording band is:
Maria Milewska: Lead and Backing Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Flute, Sequencing.
Wendy Marks: Cor Anglais, Oboe, Recorders, Double Bass
Shane Webb: Bass, Backing Vocals
Jamie Field: 6 & 12 String Acoustic Guitars, Cuatro de Puerto Rica

With:
Jonathan Edwards: Piano on ‘Riverboat’ & Rhodes and Organ on ‘Delta’
Hannah Simons: Violin on ‘Friend Of A Friend’, ‘Riverboat’ and ‘River Girl’
Robert Kelly: Electric and Acoustic Guitar on ‘River Girl’

The final running order isn’t quite settled pending the final mixes, but it’s likely to be something like this:

One Star (Field/Milewska) 4.51
Sometimes Things Just Happen (Field) 3.36
Friend Of A Friend (Field/Milewska) 4.09
Shimmers (Field/Milewska) 3.41
Small Mercy (Field) 2.52
The River 20.27
(i) Riverboat (Field) (3.22),
(ii) Strange Heaven (Milewska) (4.45),
(iii) River Girl (Field/Milewska)( 5.46)
(iv) Watertight (Field) (2.13)
(v) Delta (Field) (4.21).

Due to Jamie’s ongoing hearing problems, sadly he won’t be able to play live with the band. So for live gigs, they’ll have the following lineup:

Maria Milewska: Lead Vocals, Flute,
Wendy Marks: Cor Anglais, Oboe, Flute, Recorders, Double Bass, Backing Vocals
Shane Webb: Bass, Backing Vocals
Jeremy Robberechts: Piano, Guitars, Backing vocals
Ed: Percussion

No annoucement yet of a release date or when the live gigs might be, but there will be a brand new Zero She Flies website launched in the near future. Until then, watch this space.

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Mermaid Kiss become Zero She Flies

With new singer Maria Milewska, Mermaid Kiss have evolved to become Zero She Flies. As they say on their website:

As many of you will be aware, Jamie’s recently been writing and recording a new album with vocalist Maria Milewska. Originally we’d intended to release this as a Mermaid Kiss album, however as the recording has progressed we realised that what we actually have is a completely new band. Whilst it clearly has elements of the Mermaid Kiss sound, notably Wendy’s woodwind, the new members have each brought their own ideas and influences to the music. Jamie and Maria are therefore excited to announce the new band, called: Zero She Flies.

The Mermaid Kiss Website has also been completely revamped, with a full history of the Mermaid Kiss story as well as updates on the new band,

(Photo by Chris Walkden)

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