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Miss Mary

As you might guess from her name, Miss Mary (aka Mary Stopas) has a tendency to be kind of cute -- but she does it without being cutesie, as in saccharine or cloying. Instead, her short garage-pop ditties are charming and endearing, their rhythms bouncy and fun, their melodies instantly memorable and always hummable. Mary's voice is both as soft and as supple as silk, gently caressing one moment, edgy and sassy the next. She dresses up her relatively simple songs with lots of catchy, fun instrumentation: Farfisa and Hammond organ, lots of horns, vibes, even a banjo here and a flute there. These are intelligent, subtle compositions, often reminiscent of such other excellent indie pop composers as Lois and The Aislers Set -- fine company indeed.

Miss Mary is also a principal member of the New Hampshire go-go garage pop band The Oscillators, who have released two albums, 1998's Let's Rock Instead! and 1999's Incog-Neat-O!. Mary's solo debut, Hey Blue! came out in 2000. It features the airy, horn-tinged "Summer Days," the goofily endearing "The Date," and bouncy The Pastels-influenced "The Cutest Boy."