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Molly O’Leary Bares Their Soul on New Album Marigold

Molly O’Leary Bares Their Soul on New Album Marigold

Marigold album art: Credit Frida Garcia

Molly O’Leary (they/them) is not afraid to be vulnerable. The indie musician and songwriter from New Bedford, MA, has just released their brand new album, Marigold, which is a candid and courageous reflection of their own formidable (and ongoing) journey towards healing, self-acceptance, and self-actualization. Marigold was recorded in Nashville with producer (and Grammy-nominated songwriter in his own right) Will Hoge, who helped O’Leary craft their most lyrically personal and musically explorative work to date. O’Leary helped celebrate the new album with a release show at ASKEW in Providence, RI.

Molly O’Leary has always used their songwriting as a form of activism to raise awareness about mental health and social justice. Their art serves as a companion to their professional work as a practicing therapist (O’Leary now works part-time in private practice, having previously been on staff as an elementary school counselor). But Marigold represents an artistic breakthrough mirroring O’Leary’s own progress in their journey towards healing. “This album feels like an explosion of what I always dreamed my music would be,” shares O’Leary. “And thematically, I think this album is much more mature than my first.”

They attribute these breakthroughs to the culmination of nearly a decade of therapy and growth, some of which came through on their previous LP Holding Space. “That record is largely about me recovering from an eating disorder,” says O’Leary, “I don’t think I was able to start addressing my PTSD symptoms more significantly until the eating disorder was addressed because it also made me feel so outside of my body.” On Marigold, O’Leary brings the listener along as they explore a newfound space to confront deeper-seeded wounds. “Wild” is an incredibly personal song about the repercussions of being a survivor of sexual assault, while “Haunted House” further delves into the lasting impacts of such a traumatic event, with O’Leary detailing the flashbacks and nightmares that can live on long after.

It’s in directly addressing painful moments from the past that O’Leary has been able to move through those feelings and memories to get to a place where they can better understand and express their true self in the present, and feel safe in doing so. Those revelations come through on the latter half of the album, where on tracks like “J Walker”, O’Leary unpacks the process of coming out as nonbinary at 26, starting with fear and lingering religious trauma, and then pivots to the acceptance they felt among supportive friends and allies. “The second half of the song holds so much queer joy,” shares O’Leary, “which is something I really want to leave listeners with. Queer friends are out there waiting for you with their arms wide open.” The song “A Room With A View” is similarly hopeful, described by O’Leary as “a celebration of getting to the light at the end of a tunnel after a long rough patch with the person you love.”

The progress and growth O’Leary makes thematically with Marigold extends to the recording and production on the album as well. “Recording with Will Hoge and team was honestly one of the best experiences of my life,” they share. O’Leary met Hoge after opening up for one of his co-headline gigs with Thursday’s Geoff Rickly in Boston in the spring of '22. “Geoff and Will and their bandmates were instantly so supportive of me and my music and asked me so many questions and gave so much advice. I emailed Will to thank him the day after that show and not long after he asked me if I’d be interested in recording a record with him. And I was like wtf is happening right now??? Yes.” David Axelod served as engineer on the album, while celebrated Nashville drummer Megan Coleman and keyboard player Mark Masefield lent their talent and inspiration to their parts on the songs. “My vocals also feel worlds stronger than my first album,” O’Leary says.

Marigold is more than just an album. It’s a statement of Molly O’Leary’s courage and creativity, as they share their story and their music with the world. It’s a testament to their healing and growth, as they overcome their challenges and embrace their true self. And it’s a celebration of their freedom and joy, as they follow their passion and find their place in the universe. With their loving spouse and cats Loki and Luna at their side cheering them on, O’Leary is ready to take on the world with their songs and their voice. Marigold is out now, and you don’t want to miss it.

molly o'leary

Upcoming Tour Dates:


03 - New Bedford, MA @ Sight V Sound

13 - Amherst, MA @ The Drake

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