Mary Margaret O’Hara – Body’s in Trouble

This track couldn’t have come out in any decade other than the 80’s – that bassline! those drums! – and yet there’s something quite timeless about it too. It’s by Canadian singer/actress Mary Margaret O’Hara, who has a sort of cult status amongst her fans, given that she only released one album ‘proper’, the stunning Miss America (in 1988), one soundtrack to a film called Apartment Hunting (that she apparently did not consent to being released), and one Christmas-themed EP, as well as contributing to a handful of other people’s projects.

There’s nothing like releasing an album as intriguing, unusual and gut-twisting as Miss America and then not doing what people expect you to, which is go and release another damn album.  This has helped O’Hara – who is the sister of actress Catherine O’Hara – maintain an air of mystery about herself that is further cultivated by her endearingly offbeat appearance during her gigs (which don’t take place very regularly) and her unique style of self expression (check out the video below for evidence of the latter – her facial expressions and movements are unlike anything I’ve seen in a music video before).

There really is no one else who sounds and performs like Mary Margaret O’Hara, and with a voice that could shatter the hardest of hearts, and songs that explore the deep ache of love, Miss America is an album that will remain a classic.

Here’s a great interview by Jude Rogers with O’Hara about her 2008 gig in London’s Barbican venue.

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