about molly maguires
At the crossroads of coincidence and fate sits Molly Maguires, an indie rock & roll band from New England birthed from chance meetings and “Hail Mary’s” and forged into maturity during a global pandemic. With a vibe and a lifeforce that is very much reminiscent of something from the past, it’s no surprise the band’s music draws its greatest influences from the rock & roll movements of the late 1960s/early 1970s and the grunge movement of the early 1990s. The result is a sound and an aesthetic that is a combination of nearly every great band from these eras while being wholly unique at the same time. It’s a bit of a surprise attack, and it’s a lot deeper beneath the surface than the first impression might suggest. The fact that the group calls themselves Molly Maguires is aptly fitting and a clue to what their artistic expression is really all about.
It’s a vibe and a lifeforce that is very much reminiscent of something from the past, and perhaps this is why the band’s music draws its greatest influences from rock & roll movements of the late 1960s/early 1970s and the grunge movement of the early 1990s. The result is a sound and an aesthetic that is a combination of nearly every great band from these eras while being wholly unique at the same time. It’s a bit of a surprise attack, and it’s a lot deeper beneath the surface than the first impression might suggest. The fact that the group calls themselves Molly Maguires is aptly fitting and a clue to what their artistic expression is really all about.
From soaring full-throttle rock anthems to shimmering, elegant ballads swirling with ethereal vocal harmony, You Were Right All Along, the new LP from New England’s own Molly Maguires represents a profound evolution in the songwriting prowess of JJ Sorensen, Meghan Earle, and their compatriots. Built on a foundation of undeniable, engaging melody laced throughout with a touch of their signature twang, You Were Right All Along proves that whether cracking with punk electricity or flowing with lyrical eloquence, the music of Molly Maguires speaks to the core of our shared humanity.
The internal artistic cohesion of the record comes from a more communal approach to its creation than on prior releases. “I really shifted how I saw my role on this record” explains Sorensen. “It maybe even the most personal thing I’ve done, but it’s not just a collection of my own songs.” A new emphasis on collaborative storytelling brings a communal feel to the record; meander through their catalog, and you’ll hear a group of musicians growing and developing as a band.
Although not an official member, another key touchstone felt throughout You Were Right All Along is the deft hand of co-producer Bradford Krieger (NOVA ONE, Hocus Pocus 2). As Sorensen and Krieger continue to make records together, their comradery has grown into a deep mutual respect and understanding. “Brad and I emerged from the last record feeling comfortable working together and feeling really confident in what we could accomplish with this project going forward” explains Sorensen.
In addition to the band, You Were Right All Along features violist Kevin Lowther, aka “Big Lux”, backing vocals from Nick Dussault and Cate O’Brien, and backing vocals and banjo from the late Kristie Bezreh. Krieger stepped away from the producer’s chair to add lap steel guitar to “Maria”. The record was tracked, mixed, and mastered by Krieger at Big Nice Studio in Lincoln, RI. “Motel Hacienda” was recorded at 1357 Recording Studio in Greenfield, MA with Monte Arnstam.
Thematically, You Were Right All Along is imbued with darkness. Death permeates the record. While certain songs explore depression and anxiety, death lurks in the shadows. Underpinning all of this is a deep sense of place. This record is set in, and one of its main characters is, New England. The concept of setting being a character and the environment being a lifeforce is something the band explored on their first release Public Enemies, and You Were Right All Along resonates with the particular heady mix of grit and charm so endemic to its birthplace.
Yet, from within this darkness shines a flicker of hope. Kristie Bezreh, a longtime friend of the band, passed away in the fall of 2022. “This is pretty hard to talk about, to be honest” says Sorensen. “Her band (Gay Uncle with a Shotgun) released an EP that has ’Maria’ on it and I fell in love with the song, and asked Kristie if we could record a version of it. We were able to bring her into the studio, and she is playing banjo and singing background vocals. It is very eerie and emotional to hear her on this record, and the whole thing has really come full circle in a very tragic way – that her song was essentially the genesis of this record about death, and now she is gone, but her voice and her banjo are on this record. It’s bittersweet, comforting and reassuring that she is still with us on the recording of ‘Maria’.”
Indeed, You Were Right All Along is truly and genuinely haunted. “There is a lot that we are channeling from beyond here, and it’s real” exhorts Sorensen. While death is pervasive in this record, is it not necessarily painted in tragic hues. “We are very clearly trying to point out that death is not the end. Sam Cooke is still here – his music lives on. Mercy Brown is still here – her spirit still haunts us. And Kristie is still here too, signing and playing along with the band for all time.”
Molly Maguires was formed in 2019 by founding members JJ Sorensen and Meghan Earle. Sorensen is a native of Westerly, RI who had previously served as a guitarist for pop/R&B artist Alaura Lovelight. Earle, a native of Assonet, MA, is a veteran of the Boston, MA music scene known for her immense voice and electric stage presence. Sorensen and Earle, who first met and began playing music together in 2010 while attending Framingham (MA) State University, are joined by guitarist Jesse Coppa, multi-instrumentalist Jason G. Taylor, bassist Nathan Johnson III, and drummer Sean Scro.
The group’s debut album Public Enemies was released on April 7th, 2020, followed in June 2021 their sophomore LP That’s My Story, which was supplemented in early 2022 with The Mona Lisa Beverage EP. Since the release of That’s My Story and the easing of pandemic restrictions, Molly Maguires has performed extensively throughout Southern New England.