Throughout high school at Dublin Scioto, Mary Lynn Gloeckle kept her musical ambitions to herself. For a bespectacled introvert with no musician friends, even miniature-scale rock stardom seemed unrealistic.
“I always wanted to be in a band, but I didn't know anyone else who liked music the same way,” Gloeckle said.
Rather than play music, she opted to record musicians, enrolling at Capital’s music technology program in 2006. Freshman year, she fell for a jubilant segment of Columbus DIY rock, especially a wild-eyed ensemble called This Is My Suitcase. Gloeckle attended every show, offered frontman Joe Camerlengo recording help and eventually accepted an invite to play keyboard in the band.
Suddenly, her fantasy had come true. It was thrilling, but after a few years, another dream grabbed hold.
“It took a while before I decided I'd want to make an album for sure,” Gloeckle said. “And once I decided, it was like, I gotta do it. It felt like this big life moment.”
Gloeckle’s solo debut Familiar Things and Places took three years to complete, but it’s finally ready for a release show Friday at Carabar with Tin Armor and Way Yes. Via memorable turns of phrase like “We’re just different versions of the same goddamn person,” the record tackles matters of loneliness and familiarity.
“When I was writing this album, my parents moved away, and I moved probably like six different times, and I was just unsure of what home actually was,” Gloeckle said.
The conclusion: Home can be wherever feels familiar. Perhaps that’s why Gloeckle worked with friends like Way Yes’ Glenn Davis, Limbeck’s Patrick Carey and especially Camerlengo, whose enthusiastic fingerprints are all over Familiar Things and Places.
“I was like No. 1 This Is My Suitcase fan, and now Joe is like definitely No. 1 Mary Lynn fan,” Gloeckle said. “He's helped me so much it's kind of ridiculous. He's done so much work unpaid. Recorded it, mixed it, produced it.”
Still, the voice at the center of the record is unmistakably her own — heartfelt musings couched in twee melodies that lope and soar. Her adolescent self would’ve never believed it.
Photo by Jodi Miller