Marcella & Her Lovers

Swamp Soul Memphis

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Memphis Flyer Record Review

by J.D. Reager | Memphis Flyer | November 13, 2014

There is perhaps no current Memphis musician with more buzz surrounding him or her than Marcella René Simien. The past couple of years have seen Simien evolve from a largely unknown Louisiana transplant/art student playing house shows to a very much in-demand solo act and bandleader about town. Last week, Simien and her band, dubbed Marcella & Her Lovers, unveiled a long-awaited debut EP titled The Bronze Age. And to my ears, anyway, it absolutely delivers. Expertly recorded by local producer/engineer/musician Scott Bomar at his Electraphonic studio, the EP shows Simien and her band — which features Simien's drummer/writing partner Rory Mills Sullivan, guitarist Dave Cousar, bassist Dirk Kitterlin, keyboardist Jonathan Schallert, and the horn section of Victor Sawyer and Randy Ballard — indulging a myriad of influences, including Memphis soul and R&B, zydeco, post-punk, and pop, to great effect. What's more, Simien herself is a tremendous singer and an engaging performer, which clearly comes across on the recording. Honestly, there really are no duds here, but two stand-out tracks would be the up-tempo groover "Branch Strewn Sky" and the spacey march "We Rewind." — J.D. Reager