I Line My Days Along Your Weight
Brooklyn duo Mark Rogers and Mary Byrne recorded their debut, I Line My Days Along Your Weight, as a true duet: facing each other inches apart, intent upon listening. They wove together archaic instruments -- baritone acoustic, tricone resonator, golden-era flattop, space-age lap steel, upright piano, and hundred-year-old mandolin -- into a new and vibrant third voice. All the songs were recorded live to two-inch analog tape, the studio equivalent of tightrope-walking without a net. Mark and Mary later added minimal touches of lap steel, piano, and electric guitar, but essentially what you hear is what they performed together, start to finish. With Mark's deeply expressive, contextual fingerstyle and Mary's emphatic, unaffected singing, this striking debut invites listeners into a space most intimate, and most human. Mark and Mary each grew up on opposite sides of Central Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River, but their paths did not cross until years later in the explosively creative East Atlanta music scene. From there, the two moved to Brooklyn, where they married, and where Mary earned her MFA in writing from Brooklyn College and Mark quickly became an in-demand stage and session player and music instructor. Their collaboration began in earnest in the days after Hurricane Sandy hit New York in November 2012; with the city at a standstill, the two sketched many of the songs now on I Line My Days Along Your Weight. Before this, Mark played with Brooklyn indie-folk band The Loom, with whom he toured and performed as part of Brooklyn Academy of Music's "Next Wave" series and at Pop Montreal and CMJ. He was also multi-instrumentalist and songwriter with Atlanta's renowned alt-Americana quartet, Myssouri, whose War/Love Blues was selected by Pitchfork as a top album. Mary was lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Atlanta trio Hot Young Priest, which toured nationwide; their Fiendish Freaky Love (Two Sheds Music) garnered critics' praise in Magnet, Amplifier, The Big Takeover, Time Out New York, and NPR's "All Songs Considered."