Premiere: Marjorie Fair, ‘Songbird’

Marjorie Fair's Evan Slamka
Marjorie Fair's Evan Slamka

Marjorie Fair released one of the brilliant but overlooked albums of last decade, “Self Help Serenade,” which came out in the U.K. in 2004 and, unfortunately for the band’s momentum, a year later in the U.S. It’s a joyride of melancholic/hopeful psych-pop masterminded by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Evan Slamka, who’s been a steady presence on the L.A. scene ever since. Now, after detours, side projects and time spent parenting, Slamka has announced the second Marjorie Fair album, “I Am My Own Rainbow,” will be out March 25. Slamka’s astral compositions, some acoustic and some electric, include a couple of made-over versions of songs from the 2009 side project Square on Square, one from his 2012 venture Mighty Forces and new works made with bandmate Nic Johns, drummer/producer Joey Waronker (who drummed on that way-back-when Capitol Records release) and Grammy-winning engineer Darrel Thorpe.

“I tried to do what I attempted on the first record,” Slamka says, “which is to find a balance of textures and tones that the things that have inspired me have shaped, while allowing the songs to remain fully open, vulnerable and as free as possible within that framework.” During the long period between releases, Slamka was a session player, toured with Carly Ritter, spent time restoring an old school bus and played steady dad to his young daughter. Producer/songwriter Michael Andrews lent a hand with the evocative acoustic number and album closer “Songbird,” which, somewhat ironically, starts “Sing me another song / hope you won’t be too long …” Which is what those who know Slamka have been saying for years.

||| Stream: “Songbird”

||| Live: Marjorie Fair performs Feb. 29 at the Bootleg Theater, along with Brian Whelan and Troup.