Mary FahlView in iTunes
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Blessed with a magnificent range, Mary Fahl is an expressive, emotional singer/songwriter who is best known for the three years she spent with the October Project. Unlike some of the female singer/songwriters who were popular in the 1990s, Fahl has never gone for a waifish, girlish approach à la Suzanne Vega, Natalie Imbruglia, or Jewel -- her soaring vocals have always been big, robust, and full-bodied. In fact, Fahl has been quoted as saying that she likes female vocalists to sound like women instead of girls. Fahl, whose influences range from Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell to Sandy Denny, was raised in Rockland County, NY, and still lives in the northeastern United States. After graduating from high school, she studied medieval literature at McGill University and considering pursuing a career as an actress. But she ended up deciding that music, not acting, should be her focus. It was in the early '90s that Fahl became the lead singer for the October Project, an East Coast folk-rock/adult alternative outfit that recorded two poetic albums for Epic: its self-titled debut album of 1993 (which Peter Collins produced) and its 1995 sophomore effort, Falling Farther In. While the band wasn't huge, it did acquire a small but very enthusiastic following. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough for Epic, which dropped the October Project in 1996. Fans hoped that the band would resurface on another label, possibly an indie like Rykodisc or Rounder. But that didn't happen; not long after getting dropped by Epic, the October Project broke up. Fahl went on to pursue a solo career, and when she toured as a solo artist in the early 2000s, she performed a combination of new songs and October Project favorites (including "Bury My Lovely" and "Return to Me"). It wasn't until after the October Project's demise that she really put her songwriting talents to work; Fahl didn't do any writing for that band, although she co-wrote the four songs on her debut solo EP, Lenses of Contact. Produced by Jeffrey Lesser, Lenses of Contact came out on Rough Mix in 2001. Two years later, Fahl issued The Other Side of Time, marking her proper solo full-length debut. ~ Alex Henderson