Optimistic Sound EP

by The Hazey Janes

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    1. Like Another Rolling Stone
    2. When These Shoes Were New
    3. Dear Hank Williams
    4. Monkey Hair

    Dundee charity Optimistic Sound are proud to present an EP of four Michael Marra songs performed by The Hazey Janes, featuring Christopher Marra, Derek Thomson and a string quartet comprising members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The four songs were carefully chosen and arranged by the band (which features Michael's daughter and son – Alice and Matthew) who also collaborated with Michael on 2012's 'Houseroom' EP.

    “We were keen to chose a diverse selection of songs, that would highlight the spectrum of Michael's writing. He was extremely prolific, we could have recorded a hundred EPs of different material. It's also a very personal collection”.

    The EP opens with the much-loved Like Another Rolling Stone, the song from which Optimistic Sound takes its name, sung by Andrew Mitchell, with the RSNO quartet providing Bacharachian embellishments. Alice Marra takes over lead vocals on When These Shoes Were New, one of Michael's early songs, which he considered to be a milestone in his development as a songwriter. Again, the RSNO provide a sweeping yet understated string arrangement.

    Dear Hank Williams is a lesser-known number in the Marra songbook, but one which suits The Hazey Janes' country rock instincts perfectly. Michael's brother and long-time musical collaborator Christopher provides pedal steel guitar throughout, while another friend and musical ally, Derek Thompson, supplies piano. The EP closes with Monkey Hair, sung by Alice accompanied by Andrew's piano, with minimalist backing from the rhythm section of Matthew Marra (bass guitar) and Liam Brennan (drums). Of the song, Alice says...

    “I remember being in the car with my dad, and asking him what he considered to be the best song he had written. Without hesitation he replied 'Monkey Hair', so we felt it had to be included”.

    The EP is the latest in a long line of fund raising projects for Optimistic Sound, the charity set up in Michael's name by his family. Optimistic Sound is working hard to bring the revolutionary Sistema music programme to the city of Dundee to tackle poverty and to raise the hopes and opportunities of our young people. All proceeds from sales of the EP will go directly to the charity.

    The release will also mark the end of a very successful 2014 for The Hazey Janes, who were announced as official ambassadors for the city of Dundee in May, and released their critically-acclaimed fourth album 'Language of Faint Theory' the following month.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Optimistic Sound EP via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      £1 GBP




PLEASE NOTE: The full EP is available only as a physical CD. The Digital Album - Pre-order Now option is for the first track only.


released December 1, 2014



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Optimistic Sound Dundee, UK

Optimistic Sound is a registered charity which campaigns and raises funds to help deliver a Sistema Scotland Big Noise Orchestra for the young people of Dundee. One in four children in Dundee live in poverty today. We need new ways to improve their chances in life.

Optimistic Sound is run by a broad group of volunteers from Dundee and beyond.
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