Angie McMahon first came onto my radar in a library. It wasn’t a case of finding Angie’s name in a book titled The Great Hopes of Future Music, nor was Angie working there issuing me with a 20p fine for returning my copy of The Great Gatsby a day late. Instead, this particular library was part of the Bush Theatre complex in London and Angie was playing a show there as part of June’s Bushstock Festival. It was there, in a tiny and rather sweaty room that could only hold about 60 people, she regaled us with her powerful undiluted songs as well as tales of her snotty nose, having been a bit unwell before the gig.
What impressed me most on first listen about McMahon though was her voice. Solid seems like a pretty awful word to describe someone’s singing, but if I am going to use that word (and I am) it’s meant in the most positive of ways. I could add soulful onto that as well, as there’s an easy flowing depth to her vocal.
Angie is an Australian songwriter and musician from Melbourne. If you search for her on Twitter, she’s the one who in her bio simply states ‘Potato farming.’ She’s already put out a couple of tracks that have done well in her homeland – the simple but highly melodic Slow Mover and the equally good Missing Me.
Her latest effort Keeping Time shows it’s all killer no filler with her work, as it struts in with a confidence that sounds like Florence And The Machine has been listening to the blues and got a bit of dirt and grit inside her. If you’re a fan of Joan Armatrading or Karima Francis you might just find something here you like. It’s strong (or dare I say it again…solid) stuff that is likely to find McMahon labelled with words like ‘authentic’ which is not something I care for either way (you can make great tunes whilst being absolutely inauthentic) or even worse she’ll get the tag ‘real music’ – a classification designed mainly by middle aged white men who struggle to embrace the idea that music can be many things besides just bands with guitars. However, one label I will agree with is that Angie McMahon is first-rate.
Take a listen to Keeping Time below and also do investigate her other two tracks. Of Keeping Time Angie says: “This song is me yelling at myself to get off my arse and do some work... but in a loving way. Like, you know what you want, and you can either back yourself or keep bad habits, so take note of where you’re at and use it as fuel. It’s like a love song to self-discipline. I hope others can feel some affection towards it too.”
Angie McMahon - Keeping Time