For more than 30 years, singer-songwriter and guitar hero Mary Timony has cut a distinctive path through the world of independent music, most recently as vocalist and guitarist of acclaimed garage-pop power trio Ex Hex (Merge) but also as a member of seminal post-punk band Autoclave (Dischord), celebrated leader of the deeply influential Helium (Matador), multifaceted solo artist (Matador, Lookout!, Kill Rock Stars), and a co-founder of supergroup Wild Flag (Merge). Described by Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein as “Mary Shelley with a guitar” and dubbed “a trailblazer and an innovator” by [Mary’s former guitar student] Lindsey Jordan a.k.a. Snail Mail, Timony has distinguished herself as one of her generation’s most influential guitarists and songwriters. Although she has remained a cult hero and critical favorite since the early ’90s, appearing everywhere from 120 Minutes episodes to Coachella sets, Timony’s many triumphs have long been counterbalanced by crippling doubt and self-nullification.
Her fifth solo album, Untame the Tiger, approaches these emotions head on. Her first solo release in 15 years is a startling document of an artist fully coming into her own power during the fourth decade of her career. It is the product of lessons learned during life-altering struggle. Untame the Tiger picks up the thread woven through Timony’s freak-folk-anticipating solo albums of the early ’00s. Basic tracks were recorded at Studio 606 in Los Angeles, with Timony backed by Dave Mattacks, drummer of legendary British folk-rock band Fairport Convention. Mattacks has connections throughout the pastoral, surrealistic world of ’70s folk including credits on Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter, Steeleye Span’s Hark! The Village Wait, Bert Jansch’s Moonshine, Richard & Linda Thompson’s Pour Down Like Silver, Brian Eno’s Before and After Science, and many more.