When it came to crafting the songs for their third full-length effort Fire In The Flame, London, Ontario folk duo The Marrieds took a distinctly personal approach.
Four of the nine songs featured on the group’s new album were written by the request of people seeking to have the couple – Jane Carmichael and Kevin Kennedy – share their stories about their lives or their loved ones.
From detailing a young boy’s fight with leukemia to singing of the everlasting love of a couple growing older together, the requests, while unconventional in one respect, are a testament the growing appeal and connection that The Marrieds have forged with their fans.
“Their stories touched us,” Carmichael says. “It was a fun and rewarding way to put those emotions and memories into songs that we hope will resonate with others. Initially, we hadn’t planned on putting any of the songs on this record, but I liked them so much, they became Marrieds songs.”
Formed in 2010 during a three-day long snowstorm that brought their hometown to a standstill, The Marrieds have been singing in near perfect harmony since. It was during that snowstorm that the duo first attracted attention, having posted three “snow day” songs onto YouTube as a means to commemorate the nasty weather.
Within a few days, the videos had accumulated upwards of 10,000 views, capturing the attention of CBC, which featured the group in profile, helping raise awareness of the band throughout Canada. Not long after, the Marrieds issued their Snow Song Trilogy EP, following that with their self-titled full-length debut in 2011 and Saving Hope in 2013.
Recorded in Lucan, Ontario with producer Matt Weston, Kennedy believes Fire In The Flame is one of the group’s most cohesive works to date.
“This record is a little more put together in terms that there are more similarities in the songs and a thread of continuity running throughout the record,” he offers.
A little more than two years ago, Carmichael and Kennedy made the decision to take an unpaid leave from their full-time jobs as teachers to allow them to focus solely on the band. Although their decision had been in the making for a number of years, the six months during which they had nothing to focus on aside from music proved to be eye opening in a few different respects.
“All in all, it was a great experience,” Kennedy says. “If anything, it really opened our eyes to just how much more efficiently we could live. It also gave us a different appreciation for the smaller things in life too. It put a lot of daily stresses into perspective; things that seem to be a big deal at the time that really aren’t anything significant in the bigger picture.”
According to him, another benefit of taking time off from their full-time professions allowed them to take a decidedly more relaxed approach to both the songwriting process as well as show performances.
“One of the biggest differences we noticed was the energy level we were able to bring to the shows. Instead of feeling we were on some kind of restricted schedule, where we had to fit playing a concert in after we had already put in a workday at school, we had actual energy to do the show,” Kennedy says, laughing.
“Overall though, the time off just made for a better experience, for both us and those coming out to the shows.”
Although the couple eventually returned to their full-time jobs, they are leveraging the perk of having their summer off to tour the country and bring their music to new audiences, including next Wednesday evening at Moncton’s Plan b Lounge.
“We’ve found a good balance; we are staying busy, but our schedules aren’t jam packed. We get to spend the summer playing music for people. That’s nothing to complain about,” Carmichael says.
What: The Marrieds with Amy & Rachel Beck
When: Wednesday July 27, 9 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton