In an attempt to shine light on local music, The Lantern’s “Columbus’ Own” is a weekly series that will profile a new Columbus band every week.
Fresh off a performance at CD 102.5 Day: Side A at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, Columbus-based musician Mary Lynn Gloeckle is working to continue taking her music to the next level.
Columbus radio station CD 102.5 invited local bands to enter a contest for a chance to play at its annual concert. After all artist submissions were complete, the station selected 10 bands to participate in a round of online voting. The five bands that received the most votes, Gloeckle said, were invited to participate in the “Local Artist Showcase” March 21, which took place at Skully’s Music Diner.
“It’s kind of like a battle of the bands type thing where every band plays a set and at the very end of the night, everybody votes for who was their favorite,” Gloeckle said.
After two “torturous” days of waiting, Gloeckle said she learned that her band had won the contest, putting them in the opening slot for alternative rock bands MS MR, The Orwells, Skaters and Grouplove March 29.
“When I found out, it was legitimately one of the best moments of my life because I worked so hard promoting everything, practicing and just mentally preparing,” Gloeckle said. “It was like a second job, I mean, it was a lot of work for me and I took it so seriously because I wanted it so bad.”
Gloeckle’s friend Brianna Janig was with her when she received the news.
“It was amazing. My roommate, Mary Lynn and I were about to go shopping and we were walking up to the mall in the parking lot and she got the phone call,” Janig said. “She was like trying to shoo us away because she didn’t know if the CD 102.5 girl was going to tell her if she won or not.”
Janig said they proceeded to wander around the parking lot until it was overwhelmingly obvious what the results were.
“(Gloeckle) started screaming because they told her she won and then my roommate and I were screaming and we literally almost got hit by a car in the parking lot,” Janig said. “It was so hilarious and then we hugged and screamed for literally five straight minutes so it was pretty amazing.”
Growing up, Gloeckle said her father was in a band and almost all of her early childhood memories involve music in some way.
“I probably started singing first. I always have loved singing and I had a little Fisher-Price toy tape recorder and I made all these songs on it, all day, about Bugs Bunny and just little kid stuff,” Gloeckle said.
Gloeckle said she developed an interest in playing the piano and began taking lessons when she was in third grade. Still today, Gloeckle’s primary instrument in her band is piano. As a teenager, Gloeckle started to write songs and continued to refine her skills as a musician.
“I considered songwriting sort of a pipe dream and I never thought I was cool enough to find people to be in a band with me,” she said. “I didn’t really know anyone in my high school who was as into music as I was.”
Gloeckle said she met her friend and current bass player Joe Camerlengo late in high school and joined his band This Is My Suitcase while studying music technology at Capital University.
“That’s how I got into being in a band and then when I was probably about 19 or 20, I decided that I really just needed to make an album,” Gloeckle said.
Among Gloeckle’s musical influences, she said, are musicians Ben Folds, Regina Spektor and her favorite band, Dr. Dog.
“I really like any music that is real and honest and kind of shows a real human artist just being who they are. I really respect anybody who can do that,” Gloeckle said.
Her debut album “Familiar Things and Places” was released in January 2013. In an email, Gloeckle said she is currently working on a second album that will showcase her own musical style.
“Since (releasing the first album), I’ve developed a full band and had a lot more experience writing,” Gloeckle said. “Now I know what kind of artist I want to be. I also have a lot more confidence in myself this time around, and I may be a bit more gutsy.”
Gloeckle’s band is made up of Camerlengo, drummer and percussionist Jeremy Skeen and guitarist Austin Wyckoff.
After meeting Gloeckle and Camerlengo at Gallery Hop in the Short North, Wyckoff said he was a “big fan” before being asked to join the band in March 2013. When it comes to creating new music, Wyckoff said it is a collective effort.
“Mary Lynn writes a ton of songs, she’s got like a million songs under her belt,” Wyckoff said. “She’ll start playing one and then we’ll all write a part for it and then everyone puts input on the other person’s part and we just kind of write the music together.”
Janig said watching her friends perform in front of such a large crowd at the LC was a “surreal experience.”
“Everyone in her band and her included are some of the most talented, amazing musicians I know, so they’re just awesome,” Janig said.
To promote the band’s music, Gloeckle said she is very active on social media and has received positive feedback since performing at CD 102.5 Day: Side A.
“This contest has been an absolutely amazing experience for us. We got a huge amount of exposure that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. On the radio, on CD 102.5’s website and at the show, obviously, and we’ve gotten a lot of new fans and followers on our various sites and accounts and it’s been awesome,” Gloeckle said.
Mary Lynn is set to perform a free show at Fourth Street Bar & Grill April 10. The show is presented by CD 102.5 as part of the radio station’s weekly Local Love showcase.