Mary's Voice

The Music Tapes

MP3 (320kbps) ? $8.99 BUY + Wish List
FLAC ? $11.49 BUY + Wish List
CD $13.98 BUY + Wish List
LP (w/ DL Coupon) ? $20.98 BUY + Wish List

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MRG368 | Release Date September 4, 2012

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Mary’s Voice is the warmest and most accessible invitation yet into Julian Koster’s world—the culmination of a vision he has been realizing for over a decade.

That vision began taking shape in the ’90s, during which time Koster also became a key member of Neutral Milk Hotel and a contributor to The Olivia Tremor Control and other legendary members of the enormously influential Elephant 6 Collective. Since then, Koster (along with long-time collaborator Robbie Cucchiaro on horns) has pushed the boundaries of what audiences have come to expect from an “indie rock” band—staging unique caroling and lullaby tours, performing alongside mechanical contraptions like the 7-Foot-Tall Metronome, and displaying virtuosity on both the singing saw and orchestral banjo.

Mary’s Voice, the follow-up to 2008’s acclaimed Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes, is part one of a planned two-part album and inaugurates a newly active phase in The Music Tapes’ evolution—with plans to tour the world in a circus tent later this year and an NPR radio serial in the works. Recorded with The Music Tapes’ signature method of using recording machines of both past (early 1900s, ’30s, ’40s, ’60s) and present to achieve a timeless sound, the album is, in Koster’s own words, “a holiday from what is so often mistakenly called the ‘real world’… In music, time can disappear the way it does in long summer evenings when we’re allowed to go out and play as kids, or afterwards, when exhausted, we dream.”

LP includes a coupon for a full download.

Track/Song Title Duration Price MP3 Track
Play The Dark Is Singing Songs (Sleepy Time Down South) 04:42 $0.99 Buy
Play Saw and Calliope Organ on Wire 00:57 $0.99 Buy
Play S' Alive (Pt. 1) 00:57 $0.99 Buy
Play The Big Beautiful Shops (It's Said That It Could Be Anyone) 05:03 $0.99 Buy
Play Spare the Dark Streets 04:16 $0.99 Buy
Play To All Who Say Goodnight 05:24 $0.99 Buy
Play Intermission (Pt. 1) 00:08 $0.99 Buy
Play Intermission (Pt. 2) 00:08 $0.99 Buy
Play Kolyada #3 01:43 $0.99 Buy
Play Playing "Evening" 04:33 $0.99 Buy
Play Go Home Again 03:29 $0.99 Buy
Play S' Alive to Be Known (May We Starve) 03:22 $0.99 Buy
Play Untitled 00:16 $0.99 Buy
Play Takeshi and Elijah 06:37 $0.99 Buy

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What is the difference between MP3 and FLAC files?

Merge offers the highest quality MP3s possible. They are encoded without DRM using the LAME version 3.97 encoder at non-variable rate of 320 kbps. At this quality level, the sound is essentially indistinguishable from a CD.

We also offer FLAC digital music files. FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an uncompressed audio format. As such, FLAC files provide a perfect digital copy of a given piece of music.

MP3s eliminate audio data in order to reduce file size. FLAC files are by definition 'lossless' and are a perfect digital copy of the original source material. Because of this, a FLAC audio file is much larger in size than an MP3 file. While FLAC audio is ideal if you listen to your music on a higher-end home stereo, or enjoy close-listening on headphones, it does not have as widespread playback support as the MP3 format.

*Note: FLAC files do not work in iTunes.

What is the difference between MP3 and FLAC files?

Merge offers the highest quality MP3s possible. They are encoded without DRM using the LAME version 3.97 encoder at non-variable rate of 320 kbps. At this quality level, the sound is essentially indistinguishable from a CD.

We also offer FLAC digital music files. FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an uncompressed audio format. As such, FLAC files provide a perfect digital copy of a given piece of music.

MP3s eliminate audio data in order to reduce file size. FLAC files are by definition 'lossless' and are a perfect digital copy of the original source material. Because of this, a FLAC audio file is much larger in size than an MP3 file. While FLAC audio is ideal if you listen to your music on a higher-end home stereo, or enjoy close-listening on headphones, it does not have as widespread playback support as the MP3 format.

*Note: FLAC files do not work in iTunes.

"Includes Download Coupon". What does that mean?
With many of our vinyl releases we include a coupon (Yes, an actual slip of paper inside the album packaging) with a unique code which will allow you to download a high quality MP3 version of the album you've purchased.