Nevada City, CA May 9, 2023 –  “A show is ultimately a healing experience,” said psych folk singer Mariee Siou, who will be returning to her longtime home of Nevada City for a concert in support of her new EP, Circle of Signs, at Miners Foundry on Sunday, May 21st.

Mariee Siou
Mariee Siou Photo Credit: Elyse Allbright

A long-cherished gem of the Nevada County folk scene Mariee Siou has been playing music for more than two decades but never saw herself as a rock star or even a professional musician for that matter,  “I’ve always just written songs because I needed to write the songs. I have to express this thing, or I’ll die, probably. I never anticipated it being my career by any means, being the shyest person in my class and terrified of being on stage,” said Siou with a note of lingering wonder. 

“I was forced by friends for the first few years,” Siou recalled. “They booked shows for me and told me I was playing them.” Many of these encouraging friends are talented musicians in their own right, that locals in the Nevada County music scene will recognize. 

“Growing up there, there was a huge ‘surgence’ of arts and music: Aaron Ross, Joanna Newsom, Adam Kline, all of these talented indie people. They inspired people maybe five years younger than them…Love Shack Records slaying minds at 18, Hella, many different styles and amazing concerts.” Siou said.

These friends must have sensed something special and soon industry professionals began to take note. Siou recalled, “Grassroots Records offered to record my first studio sessions and even then, I wasn’t like, ‘people are going to listen to this.’ I was just like ‘I’ll give my friends a copy.’ I was invited to go on tour opening for Bright Black Morning Light and that was when I quit going to college and started doing music full time. It was like, ‘Oh, there’s a door, I guess I’m going to walk through it. It has not gotten more normal, but it is easier than it was in the beginning.”

It did not take long for Siou to become a fixture of the neo-folk scene herself. Her 2007 debut, Faces in the Rocks is considered a cult classic by many in the indie music world. She is revered throughout the scene for her delicate finger picking, poetic mysticism, and otherworldly quality. She is known as a healing singer and a visionary artist transmitting medicinal qualities through her music.

Though Siou is shy by nature, she does not shy away from the heavy subjects in her songs and encourages others to not run from them either, but to sit with them together and attempt to heal. “It tends to feel like we’re all experiencing something pretty unique. [During a concert] we’re all going through the songs together. Some times the weight of the responsibility of what it means to be a human can be a lot. I hope some of these songs can remind people that we’re not alone and there are a lot of deeply caring people in the world, probably more than the other side.”

Circle of Signs, Siou’s latest EP (released April 28th) is a hypnotic collection of tracks Siou wrote in moments of intense feeling, particularly climate grief. Siou speaks of each song as if they are a thoughtform with an individual identity. “They really have lives of their own,” she said. “Each has a story of something going on in the world, wildfires in California and the Amazon, the pandemic.” 

According to Siou, the tracks grouped together naturally while she was writing and reckoning with systems of inequality, with the intention of offering a path toward healing and maintaining hope.  “These four really seemed like they wanted to be their own project. They’re pretty, lyrically dense, and want you to be able to sit and take them without being overwhelmed. [They are] an expression of and an invitation to the grief and perplexing questions that must necessarily be faced in acknowledgment of our true selves in the face of our current catastrophic, cultural, political and environmental inheritances—grief as the portal into healing, and which is itself a subversive process in an industrial-capitalist-consumerist climate in which to love oneself is itself an act of subversion.”

Through the EP, as in much of her previous work, Siou speaks directly to the dire need in the modern world for us to reconnect with older and more honest ways of relating to ourselves and to our human (and nonhuman) kin. Siou reminds us that there is nothing quite as human as listening to music together. “Seeing some of my favorite performers live, for me, are some of the most memorable times of my life, getting to witness someone doing the thing that only they can do in real time and being together. Humans have always gathered together and listened to music since time immemorial and we should probably keep doing that or things will get weird.”

WHO: Miners Foundry

WHAT: Mariee Siou

WHERE: Miners Foundry, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA 95959, Call (530) 265-5040

WHEN: Sunday, May 21st, 2023, 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

HOW: $20 Tickets available online, by phone or in person at the Miners Foundry Box Office: 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA 95959 Tuesday – Friday | 9:00am – 4:00pm

The Miners Foundry Cultural Center is a living historic treasure serving Nevada County as a cultural art and community events center. More than a venue, the nonprofit’s mission is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational, and social activities in Nevada County. It is a symbol of California’s rich historical heritage, providing an educational and social bridge from our past to the present and future.