I first came across Maryen some 30 years ago when she had returned to the UK from the Australia where she had grown up. After being back for some 11 years she headed back to Australia, releasing some incredible albums, before deciding to head north again and make her home in Guernsey. One of the consequences of this relocation from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere, which was soon followed by all the restrictions caused by Covid, has been ongoing deep solitary introspection and self-reflection. This period of introspection has resulted in this delicate ballad, with gentle piano and some acoustic guitar, all recorded by Maryen at home before being sent to her long-time producer and mentor Chris Kimsey to add the finishing touches.
When I first heard ‘The Pictures Within’ I was blown away by the wonderful vocals and range of this incredible talent, and all these years later she still has the power to capture and entrance. This is the second single of the year, and I can only hope that this means we are moving towards a new album as it has been way too long since ‘Come To Me’. There is no rush here, and in some ways feels as if it belongs in a Church, such is the feeling of communion which comes with this. The only way to listen to this is to concentrate deeply when it is on headphones as it is the only way to really savour the inner strength and beauty of this remarkable song.
8/10 Kev Rowland