Prompted by the diagnosis of a brain tumour in 2012, Irish born, Melbourne based artist Marjorie Cardwell created “In Another World”, an album which showcases her unique songwriting and singing talents.
New Zealand legend, Don McGlashan, (Mutton Birds, Front Lawn) and Marjorie’s husband, award-winning singer/songwriter, DC Cardwell are featured on this eclectic collection of her own songs. The collection has a retro vibe, with Marjorie’s guitar-driven, Beatlesque yet indie-spirited songs, outstanding vocals and melodic gift recalling critics’ darlings Sam Phillips & Aimee Mann, while simultaneously harking back to 60s pop & soul, with a skilfully soulful production by herself and DC.
During her recovery (happily, the tumour was benign), Marjorie worked with DC to produce the eleven songs on “In Another World”, drawing on friends and family to supplement their own musical skills. These included their good friend, drummer Chris Haylock, who sadly passed away from cancer before the album’s release.
DC & Marjorie went to school together in Northern Ireland and married soon after. The turbulence of the so-called “Troubles” prompted moves, first to Vancouver, where Marjorie was a regular on the indie singer-songwriter scene and then to Melbourne and, in 2015, on to Launceston, Tasmania. In Australia, family and study took precedence, but having raised two sons, completed university and trained as a teacher, her sudden, shocking diagnosis was the catalyst to realising there was more music work to be done.
Marjorie is a lover of music and her personal listening ranges from classical to early 20th century jazz and all the great movements of American and British pop and rock through to 21st century indie. “I don’t care what it’s called, as long as it’s good!” she says. Her wide reaching love and knowledge of music is evident in “In Another World”, but in all cases, she takes what she loves and makes something that is indisputably her own. Her appreciation of clever, poignant and beautiful words is also apparent in both the lyrics she loves and the lyrics she writes.
The songs on the album have been described as having a 60s and 70s feel, but because of Marjorie’s unique, clear vocals, never fall into the category of ‘pastiche’. They are reflections on her sudden illness (Hole in My Head), relationships of all kinds and stages (In My Eyes, Not On Your Own) and on personal and even global conflict (I Want Joy, All Over The World) – all done with a lightness of touch and deftness of wordplay that avoids navel-gazing or self-indulgence. This album is, at its core, entertaining.
One song, Dans Un Autre Monde was written and performed in French. Another, Birthday Present, the only non-original song on the album, is a cover of a DC Cardwell track from his celebrated album ‘Some Hope’.
Marjorie’s making music has always been influenced by the risk taking approach of The Beatles, and other influences include Crowded House, Neil Finn, Sam Phillips, The Kinks, Ray Davies, The Mutton Birds, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Rockpile, Ella Fitzgerald, Jacques Prévert, Arthur Rimbaud, William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, The New Pornographers, The Strokes, Jonathan Richman and Harpo Marx.