Fair Maiden is the moniker of Adelaide-born musician Ellen Carey. Following her previous work in Australian post-punk legends Jemima Jemima, as well as Birth Glow and Clue to Kalo, Fair Maiden began as a solo venture in 2008. Initially a sparse maneuver of backing-tracks with kaleidoscopic vocal arrangements, the intervening period has seen Carey incubate material and gather long-time collaborators together to perform as a full band.
Fair Maiden has Carey’s striking voice at its core, at times sweet and obliging; at others doused with peculiar, unearthly majesty. Remarkable in its versatility, her vocal guides Fair Maiden’s reach from songs of disarming, haunted folk to subversive 60’s pop laments.
This record, her debut LP under the Fair Maiden name, features Stephanie Crase (Batrider, Summer Flake, Hit The Jackpot), Liam Kenny (Bitch Prefect, Peak Twins) and Joel Carey (Wolf & Cub, Peak Twins), who add opulent layers of harmonies and provide the perfect musical adornment for Carey’s stunning centerpiece. It was recorded by Australian mainstay Jack Farley (Twerps, Beaches), and was in fact one of the last records produced at his now defunct and infamous Transient Studios (the “warehouse” prevalent in the Scott & Charlene’s Wedding hit ‘Footscray Station’). It is a beautiful record, simple yet pronounced, with the power of Carey’s vocal shining in such a way as to change stop listeners in their tracks.