Molly O’Leary Releases Breakthrough LP, “Marigold”

Marigold cover art by Freida Garcia

A folk-rock voice of excellence and otherworldly energy, Molly O’Leary has released their LP, Marigold. O’Leary, from New Bedford, Massachusetts, joined forces with Nashville producer and musician Will Hoge to create this fantastically candid record. From the top of the album down to the last track, it sounds as though the two forged Marigold with a magic of their own creation. The songs shimmer with the influences of Brandi Carlile, Alanis Morrisette, and earnest memories made into lyrical healing spells of sorts. Mesmerizing and seamless conduit to Molly’s storytelling, the production grants a matched tone in theme and approach found consistently across the album – tension, release. Collapse, expansion. Despair, comfort. Passion, relent. Take a walk, time the sunset to hit right when “Interlude” begins, and listen through Marigold.

One of the first songs on the record, Ticking Of A Clock, was a single that introduced us to creative elements we were thrilled to see elaborated on in the rest of the album. It’s the very spirit of Molly’s ability to write songs in challenging moments and rise above them, having created something both honest and superbly performed. (Kinda cool how full circle the story behind this song gets when you find out what inspired the song–and who ended up producing the rest of their record.) “Ticking Of A Clock” is comprised of sonic structures that strike emotional chord, enriched with a witty, interpretive lead guitar that scores what it means to tame panic.

“I wrote ‘Ticking Of A Clock’ after I had a panic attack in the airport on my way to Indiana to open up for Will Hoge,” shares O’Leary. “I was having an allergic reaction that directly affected my vocal cords and arms – you know, just the two things I need to sing and play guitar. I had 24 hours to get better, and my anxiety was running wild. Thankfully, I did manage to get it under wraps and had a great show. I have to use coping tools for anxiety fairly often, so this song is a good snapshot into my brain.”

Beyond an impressive series of singles released in anticipation, “Marigold” acts as the root and focal point of the album. The song builds its way up in sweet, unexpecting waves of warm nostalgia.  It carries even further into bittersweet, “So cry, baby, cry, in a puddle of mud and red wine, the night will turn into a sunrise, in your golden eyes.” There’s an inviting and liberating expansion in the evolution of this track, nailing how Molly describes the album to be: “This album feels like an explosion of what I always dreamed my music would be,” shares O’Leary. As the title track of the LP, this was a strong anchor and namesake for this entire record. This is the sound of the friend you’ve always needed, the friend that lives deep in your heart, who reminds you of light you’ve yet to see, and of hope you’ve almost all but forgotten.

Molly O’Leary photographed by Maggie By The Millimeter

Showcasing other strongpoints and crucial components of the larger theme, Marigold brings us tracks like “Lion’s Gate,” which nod to the hauntingly enticing fashion of the ethereally unspoken, of pending and occultist curiosities. In its own way, it reflects a slightly sinister track you’d find on a Daughter album. A cinematic experience, the music video for “Lion’s Gate” grants an immersive visual into O’Leary’s mysterious edge and evident depths explored throughout the record. The haunt, so to speak, is a familiar subject in Marigold; in “Haunted House,” O’Leary sings of regaining their ability to banish taunting ghosts of the past back to the ground where they belong. Even in the journey and ending of “J Walker,” there’s a divine resolve of belonging in the cadence of a queer non-binary folk-rock anthem. Be it spiritual introspection or professional and personal mental health wisdom, Molly O’Leary has gorgeously carried their story in full stride throughout Marigold.

Molly describes the album to be about “bigger breakthroughs and ultimately freedom,” and it seems beautifully fitting to land on their final track, “I Deserve To Be Here.” With a velvet voice of resolve of unwavering energy, they bring the album to end with a grounded, harmonious mantra.

Molly O’Leary, in essence and practice, shows us what the building of an artist can be when they know how to both summon their inner power and invite you to the circle. Their trajectory as a songwriter shows as much promise as it does authenticity and expansion on the human condition, while getting to know their journey on a personal level we often see from favorites like Phoebe Bridgers, Girlpool, Alanis Morrisette, Daughter. Enthralling folk-rock music with resolute narrative, Molly O’Leary’s Marigold will continue to bloom into a near, bright future.

Check out Molly O’Leary’s upcoming tour dates with Justin Arena and Will Hoge! Get tickets and catch an incredible talent live!

3/12/24 – Supporting Will Hoge – Alchemy @ 7:00pm, Providence, RI, United States

3/13/24 – Supporting Will Hoge – The Drake @ 8:00pm Amherst, MA

3/14/24 – Supporting Will Hoge – ZenBarn @ 7:00pm, Waterbury Ctr, VT, United States

3/18/24 through 3/31/24 – east coast tour with Justin Arena (locations TBA)

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