Fredericton’s Marian wins best song at Music NB Awards

Marian and the band, playing at the St. Thomas welcome week rock festival this past September, 2022. (Daniel Salas/AQ)

The song, “Astral Plane” by Marian, a local Fredericton band won song of the year award at this year’s Music NB Awards.

According to Music NB’s website, Marian’s sound and style is rooted in the same iconic spirit of “song-bands from yesteryear,” grounding themselves as “true-to-form rock ‘n’ roll.”

Jerry-Faye Flatt, Marian’s bassist and former managing editor of The Aquinian from 2019-20, had much to say regarding her experience with the band, her creative journey leading up to the creation of “Astral Plane” and the significance of the local music scene.

“I’ve been singing since I could talk,” said Flatt.

Flatt said her mom is a classically-trained musician and taught her about music from a young age. She eventually learned to play guitar, piano, violin and bass.

Flatt said “Astral Plane” was written by Dylan Ward, who is one of the main songwriters in Marian. She likens his songwriting style to that of a storyteller.

“He’s writing stories. It starts from an idea and then it just kind of spirals from there into something,” said Flatt.

“The specific inspiration for it came from a bike ride that he and I went on. And I was saying, ‘Oh, my God, look at the sky. It’s so beautiful,’ which is something I’m constantly doing and that’s how the first lyrics of the songs were.” said Flatt.

Growing up in Saint John, Flatt also explained the importance of DIY music spaces for young musicians. She enjoys going out to shows and supporting DIY venues to try and get herself involved in any aspect of music.

“If you don’t have supportive local venues, you don’t have a music scene. It’s literally as simple as that,” said Flatt. “Playing music is something that I’m really passionate about, but I’m also just passionate about music in general.”

Ward, Marian’s lead songwriter and 2020’s Indigenous Artist of the year, was also very grateful for the award.

“We were very excited just to be nominated,” said Ward. “We were nominated alongside some other great artists, a lot of them are friends of ours … so it was really cool. Then to actually win it, it’s even better.”

Ward also had much to say about working with Flatt.

“She has such a great unique voice … when she came into the fold of the band, it was bang on, our voices really do match well together”

Ward explained that he enjoys working collaboratively as a songwriter as it elevates the process.

“I just write on acoustic guitar, so I can hear parts of the song in my head and what instrumentations might be doing, but [when it goes from my] brain to the band, I’ll come in with a few ideas,” said Ward.

“The band will take it to another level and, almost always, their ideas are actually way better than any idea that I could have come up with.”