Something Else! sneak peek: People featuring Mary Halvorson, “Piles For Miles” (2014)

Mary Halvorson the garage band indie rocker? Sure, why the hell not? “People” is one of her various side projects, a unpolished avant-rock trio rounded out by Kevin Shea on drums and Kyle Forester on bass. That’s a little bit of a departure from the twisting, brainy downtown jazz she’s made her reputation on.

Going off of the advance single “Piles For Miles,” this may be Halvorson showing other sides of her, but it didn’t come without hints beforehand. She’s sung in her collaborations with violinist Jessica Pavone and there have been times within her own quintet where her guitar growled like it was threatening to veer the band off the jazz path and into alt-rock. Now, that what-if scenario becomes a road taken.

Her straightforward vocal is heard much more than her guitar, too, which might make fans of her singular instrumental style fret. This mission is different, and if People are seeking to deliver music with poetry and a lo-fi sound that forces its performers to get their musical message out via a ragged feel and not their big chops, this does the trick.

This band is playing for keeps, too. At least, enough to issue their third album’s worth of new material. 3xaWoman is going to be the maiden release by the fledgling Telegraph Harp label when it hits the streets on June 17th, 2014. Founded by musicians Robbie Lee and Elisha Wiesner and distributed by Clandestine Distribution, there’s little known yet about what other acts they have up their sleeve, but People has enough star power to justify keeping an eye out for upcoming announcements.

It also remains to be seen if Halvorson is able to gain new fans without alienating her existing ones. One thing both sides could agree on, and that’s whatever she involves herself with is worthy of attention.

Here’s a bonus, ninety second track from People without Forester called “Likelihood of Bang.” Imagine the White Stripes briefly attempting out-jazz and winking their way through it:

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on,, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at
S. Victor Aaron