Public recognition comes with its downsides. As more eyes are laid upon us, one is pressured to fulfill the expectations that the public has of us. Each mistake we make draws attention, no matter how small. This is especially true with women, as they are held to higher standards of the public image than men. They are publicly celebrated and held on a pedestal and yet, secretly, many of those who claim to love them await their downfall. A dilemma is called a catch-22 when there is no escape due to conflicting conditions. Such is the title of Mary Ellen’s newest single. “Catch-22” explores the difficulty that women face when they are trapped in the public sphere, with no escape on sight except their own destruction.
Aine O’Flaherty, better known as Mary Ellen, is a music producer based in Dublin Ireland. Based entirely on her bedroom, she has proven her lyrical potential which she uses to explore controversial topics in an insightful manner. For example, in her debut single “He Got A Gun” she criticizes and brings attention to the public perception of school shootings. With “Catch-22”, her third single, Mary Ellen focuses on how media pressures people to conform to certain images of themselves and quickly turn on them if they fail to do so, especially if they are women.
Mary Ellen’s music has a playful tone that cleverly hides what the song is really about. In the case of “Catch-22”, the thoughtfully constructed harmonic vocals that flow up and down as if they were a commercial jingle and the minimalistic instrumentation create a catchy melody. However, Mary Ellen has more tricks under her sleeve. She surprises by bringing to light the sexist nature of the entertainment industry. Ellen proves that not only does she make good music, but she has the maturity and bravery to tackle subjects that are uncommon to appear in music.
“Catch-22” is an insightful and appealing single. Mary Ellen has shown that she is not afraid to sing about difficult and yet important topics of our contemporary world. As she forms a name for herself, we cannot wait to see what more she has in store!
If you enjoyed Mary Ellen’s music and would like to stay updated, be sure to check out and follow her Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tiktok accounts. To listen to her music, you can head over to her Spotify profile, Soundcloud, and Youtube channel.
You can also support the artist by streaming and sharing her music, which can be found in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Indie Only, Alterindie State Of Mind, and Female Rising Stars.
P.S. If you enjoy discovering new artists and fresh new music you should subscribe to Less Than 1,000 Followers and follow the Playlist with all the artists we’ve talked about!
This coverage was created via MusoSoup #Sustainablecurator