She has a charming heavenly voice and the command of the acoustic guitar to mesmerize audiences everywhere.
On May 23, Hobokenite singer/songwriter Mary Ann Farley will delight the crowd at the Goldhawk in Hoboken with her beautiful songs of love, loss, and everything else. Music writers have compared Farley to the likes of Ani DiFranco, Tori Amos and Suzanne Vega.
Born in Newark, she began banging on a piano when she was very little, she said. When she arrived at college she joined a rock band. She learned to play guitar and began to write songs - tons of them. In 1997, Deko Music released her first album, "Daddy's Little Girl." The album is a magnificent compilation of Farley's early work, and manages to capture the singer's essence.
While many of her lyrics are very vivid, there's a subtle and deft touch applied that keeps the listener from becoming overwhelmed by the imagery and emotion. She manages to express a bit of distance in addition to carrying the songs' emotions.
"I love performing in Hoboken. The people here are great," she said during an interview last week. "My music is personal, and I like to create an intimate atmosphere."
Farley was a featured performer at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival earlier this month, which included seven other musical acts. Her 30-minute set was wonderful and intimate, and the crowd seemed to respond well to her performance.
"The festival was a great gig for me," she said. "I enjoy playing in the Mile-Square City."
Farley's music invites comparisons to the folk and pop music realms. She doesn't hit you over the head with her songs, instead she allows the listener to travel with her in a musical journey. In addition to music, she is a self-taught painter, and has done freelance journalism for more than a decade. Her most memorable assignment, she said, was a story for a magazine about how shaving products are marketed in supermarkets.
"Journalism is a wonderful way to express myself," she said.
Her new record, "My Life of Crime," was released this year by Powder Burn Records. The album won acclaim in such publications like Billboard magazine, the New York Press and the Newark Star-Ledger. It is a more upbeat album, which reflects the artist's current state, she said.
Farley's performance at the Goldhawk (formerly the Liquid Lounge) will begin at 8:30 p.m. She will play songs from her new album. People are encouraged to come early to the event, in order to meet the artist before her performance. The venue is located on 936 Park Ave. For more information call (201) 420-7989. For information Farley visit www.maryannfarley.com. q