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True/False Conversations: Blue-Eyed Mary's love for nature shines through its folk music sound

A photo of Effie Lillig and Kathryn Myers. Effie is wearing a black and red windbreaker. Kathryn is wearing a green jacket. They are both standing in front of a gray hatchback.
Courtesy of Blue-Eyed Mary
Effie Lillig (left) and Kathryn Myers are performing during the True/False Film Fest taking place Feb. 29 - March 3. They are playing their music during the Sentinel Park Showcase.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here.

Columbia’s own Effie Lillig and Kathryn Myers started their band Blue-Eyed Mary in high school. Since then, they’ve been playing music together as college students at Washington University in St. Louis. Now, their vocal harmonies over acoustic guitar have brought them to performing at True/False Film Fest’s upcoming Sentinel Park Showcase.

KBIA’s Olivia Mizelle sat down with them to learn more about their love for music.

Olivia Mizelle: So would you guys consider your sound kind of like folk music?

Both: Yeah.

Effie Lillig: I would say we're definitely, we’re relatively like folk inspired. We sometimes draw from like, like country tradition or like Appalachian folk a little bit. Yeah, like more traditional stuff. But then sometimes we kind of draw from more contemporary folk.

Kathryn Myers: Like indie folk type of stuff.

Olivia Mizelle: Did that folk sound kind of come like immediately when you guys first started the band? Or was it something you kind of had to look for as you kept playing together?

Effie Lillig: I would say it came pretty fast.

Kathryn Myers: It came, like, the first day that we played music together.

Effie Lillig: Yeah. I think the way that we harmonize and the way that I, you know, I'm mostly, I usually am the one playing guitar. And a lot of the times when I write guitar pieces, I'm doing a lot of, like, picking and I'm doing a lot of strumming and like cowboy chords. So I think just, like, with the way that we both write music and the way that we like, especially with the way that you write words, and the way I write guitar pieces, it makes folk.

Kathryn Myers: We also both have, like poetry and like writing backgrounds. And I feel like we both kind of, I guess I'm speaking for Effie here, but

Effie Lillig: You can speak for me. If anyone can, it's you.

Kathryn Myers: I feel like our just like, writing styles in general, were very, like, conducive with just the folk sound. And, um, it just worked really well, and then we never really, like, tried anything else. We were just kind of like, well, this is like good. Let’s do this.

Effie Lillig: I think also that, like, both of us are relatively, this might sound really dorky, but I think that we both feel very emotionally and spiritually connected to nature. And that also kind of lends itself to a folk sound. Neither of us are particularly religious, but we do, like, connect with nature a lot.

Olivia Mizelle: If you could pick three words that describe your music, what would they be?

Kathryn Myers: Intricate?

Effie Lillig: Okay, okay, I like that. I like that. I was gonna say, I had a random three animal names.

Kathryn Myers: What's that? Which ones?

Effie Lillig: Bird, fish, cat.

Kathryn Myers: Bird, fish cat. I like it. Okay.

Olivia Mizelle: I love that. That's awesome. All right, so moving to the True/False of it all. How did your upcoming True/False performance kind of come about?

Kathryn Myers: We both did Camp True/False when we were in high school. Which is a program that True/False does where if you go to high school in Columbia, you can basically go to the fest for free and they have like, all of these learning opportunities for you there. So we were like, we should just apply to play at True/False.

Effie Lillig: I just think that the way that True/False, like, brings people together from multiple avenues of art and communicates them all through, like, one avenue as a festival is really, really, really amazing and wonderful for getting the community to be able to experience art.

Blue-Eyed Mary is on Soundcloud and Instagram.

Olivia Mizelle is a student reporter at KBIA
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