Mattapoisett musician’s debut album rooted in home

Jun 21, 2020

MATTAPOISETT — Seamus McMahon, otherwise known as MARJORIE, wrote his debut album, “A Growing Season,” with home in mind, both metaphorically and literally.

From the name of his project (shared with his grandmother) to the record’s title, the new album reflects his time growing up in Mattapoisett, growing into a new stage of his life and the feelings invoked by the memories of both experiences.

For him, everything on that record “succinctly sounds like home.”

McMahon picked up the drums at age eight in Old Hammondtown School, and his time playing led him through Old Rochester Regional High School and into Berklee College where he graduated in 2018.

He always wanted to pursue songwriting during college, but never had the time because he was busy learning jazz in classes.

After graduating, he felt he needed a reset, so he moved into his sister’s house in Mattapoisett in the summer of 2018. The home, which once belonged to his grandparents, played an integral part in the project.

Out in the garden working with his sister, McMahon had the idea of creating an album called “A Growing Season.”

He “didn’t know what sonically it was going to sound like,” but was determined to write the 10-song album.

By April 2019, all his recording equipment was in his grandfather’s room on the second floor. 

Fiddling with his guitar at home, equipment surrounding him and ready to go, McMahon knew that the project had to do something with his grandparents. So he named the project MARJORIE, and then set out to record an album.

In the summer of that year, songs for the album hit him like a wave, he said.

“I didn’t even go in the water that summer,” McMahon said.

In writing, he wanted it to feel like Mattapoisett in the summertime.

“I took those pictures I had as a kid in my head and made it into an album,” he said.

His music inspiration comes from what his mother played around the house growing up, like Simon and Garfunkel and Bob Dylan. He also pulls inspiration from artists such as Nick Drake as well.

The instrumental tracks at the beginning, middle and end of the album were done on purpose to get listeners into his headspace, McMahon said. 

Acoustic guitar, electric keyboard, soft-stick drumming and layered vocals on tracks like “Ain’t a Care” and “Goin’ Low” lay a backdrop for this album. Slide guitar and glockenspiel in songs such as “Me & Mary” give a dynamic nature to the album. 

McMahon wrote about the bliss found in driving home from school in Boston on the I-195 (“95”). About moving through life, knowing the soul lives on forever (“Rolling on”).

When writing about painful experiences in his past, he made sure to make it sonically sound cohesive and have the mood be entirely based on the subject matter.

The goal was a 2019 summer release because of the album’s vibe, but he only had eight songs ready by September. With mixing and mastering of the album done in March of this year, the timing worked in McMahon’s favor.

With a June 1 release this year, the album came out in a pandemic. It was unplanned, but he hopes the record can help people “escape from the anxiety” of the virus. 

McMahon said that he had been through a lot in the past few years of his life, and making the album was a “release of how I was going to grow from here.”

Find MARJORIE’s debut album here.