The new single from Mackenzie Shivers begins as an absorbing rhythmic piece, with Shivers’ smooth, distinctive voice layered over strong percussion and fuzzy guitar. However, the effectiveness of her excellent song-writing is most apparent when the mood changes entirely towards the end: the rhythm section abruptly stops just as the song builds, ethereal piano notes fall around an acoustic strum as Shivers sings: “I dream of when you sang to me about the Eastern Shore.” Shivers succeeds in generating real tension and a haunting, quiet anger. With intriguing lyrics and a dreamy, hazy tune, Shivers draws us in.
Shivers says of the song: “I’m not sure I ever learned healthy ways to express anger but I’m learning now. I’m much more comfortable with sadness than I am with anger. I think that’s because female anger is so often met with shame and dismissal. That’s certainly been my experience, and it really started to hit home as I wrote this song. ‘Martha’s Vineyard’ is like the expression of anger that you try and push down but eventually manifests itself in ways you don’t want or expect. I love how filmmaker Lâle Teoman captured the dream-like state of getting lost in a sea of memories and thoughts, a moody state of nostalgia. Thank you Americana UK for sharing it!”
The empty shoreline and old, home-video-style footage help to reinforce the atmosphere and tone of the song. ‘Martha’s Vineyard’ is taken from Shivers’ third full-length release, ‘Rejection Letter’, which is due out on 2nd April 2021. Usually known for her piano work, this is the first album Shivers has written on guitar. The guitar in question was purchased by her great grandmother and gifted to Shivers by her father. While locked down in Cape Cod, a new selection of songs was channelled through the guitar, her most personal material to date. Check it out.