Mark Rogers & Mary Byrne
I Line My Days Along Your Weight
Subtle. Mesmerizing. Ethereal. Sublime. Repeated listening to Mark Rogers and Mary Byrne’s I Line My Days Along Your Weight drives you to a thesaurus just to attempt to describe how and why this understated album is so effecting. It’s just two people on largely acoustic instruments sitting across from each other, communicating. From the slight country stylings of “Cold Spring”, or the grace of “First Fall Nights” (which brings to mind a certain feel of Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny or a more low-key Pentangle), the combination of Roger’s fingerstyle guitar and Byrne’s confident, strong vocals are bewitching.
Rogers was a member of The Loom, as well as Atlanta’s Myssouri, while Byrne was the vocalist and guitarist for Hot Young Priest, but it was in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that the two began to write this, their debut album in earnest. The sound of this record belies the notion of a young group, the two collaborating as if they have been doing it for years. Lyrically it’s poetry set to music– “I stand in darkness at night at our window, looking down the street/Gentle cars, lamplight” (“Sirens Call”)-delivered assuredly amid elegant tapestries of graceful guitar.
The effect is intoxicating, able to draw you in and keep you listening. This is early morning/late night music, a creation to be shared, one of the most nuanced and vital albums you hear this year. Mark Rogers and Mary Byrne, thanks for giving us this gift. It is beautiful almost beyond measure.