Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
"Stop swimming circles if you hate it," sings Seasick Mama Marial Maher, on "Man Overboard," and the line encompasses the New Yorker's general demeanor. She strips everything away -- musically and literally -- to a place where there's little confusion, no residue, just flesh and bones and any of the sweat and rosiness that comes from exposure. Her mantra is that of someone who will take on all comers and it will be mano y mano -- the grappling, the pleasantries and the sunken spirits. They will be forever indebted to the beatings and the embraces that are all either hard-won or ill-gotten. They will be worn like a hide that has to be felt to be appreciated -- either the softness or the roughness of it coming through the fingers. Seasick Mama songs make us feel like walking down to the ocean's edge at just the right moment and letting it clobber us, knocking us back, or pulling us out with it. Somehow, we think that's our clarity swishing and slapping us. We will follow it anywhere.