August 8, 2016

EP: Fern Mayo - Hex Signs

Fern Mayo spins magic on Hex Signs.

Fern Mayo can be considered a staple in the New York music scene. But in the last year, vocalist Katie Capri has been floating between Philadelphia and NYC, making her a traveler of sorts and seemingly more M.I.A. from the show circuit. Recently, I took some time off from attending shows but started frequenting them again just in time to see Fern Mayo back at it again. If you have the chance, Fern Mayo's live performances are not to be missed – the energy and passion put into it are enough to conjure up moments of magic. Capri has clearly been hard at work writing music as the band released their last album under a year ago, and returns only ten months later with their newest roaring EP Hex Signs.

In the opening song "Pinesol,"  Capri's instrumentals burst through as the true highlight of the track. She shreds on the guitar as bassist Nicholas Cummins and drummer Brian Orante create a vibrant sense of urgency. The band gels together perfectly and their talent shines through as they give it their all during the duration of Hex Signs. Capri's lyrics are as pressing as the music; “Just cause it's tradition doesn't make it right,” she sings on second track "New Ketamine." Capri is a self-proclaimed wanderer, and in "Pinesol" she notes, “Needles fall and prick my feet / But they don't feel a thing / They've felt loss and learned from it / They've felt lost and learned to stick to wandering.” Her voice is simultaneously powerful but it's evident that she's craving something that's missing. The last song, "Moonshine Kingdom," contains the line, “Tell yourself what you must to get by / But if you're going to lie / You better be right.” People create stories to live by, and Capri consistently draws upon the theme of storytelling throughout the EP. There is a lack of comfort among the three songs as she conjures images of dark woods and overrun kingdoms with ominous figures. A wandering life without tradition comes at a price. “All the storylines don't fit in single file,” Capri sings, gloriously presenting us with an inverted fairy tale that is as magical as her performance.


Listen to Fern Mayo on bandcamp.

Hannah Shields is a former child prodigy and current unemployed college drop out. When she is not writing things and filming things about herself you can find her on stage talking about herself and calling it comedy.