Mary L. Chang



For over a decade, I was a blogger at several prominent music outlets including There Goes the Fear (TGTF), an internationally-read and -acclaimed music Web site I own and where I was Editor-in-Chief. As a passionate music writer, I covered major music events on three continents, interviewed scores of British, American, Irish, Australian, and other European artists and bands, and reviewed their music releases.

I have now embarked on a different career in the music industry. Leveraging the long-form, heavy research essay style I preferred at TGTF, I am available for your next quality music writing project. My words will make you, the artist, shine. To discuss the possibility of a collaboration and hiring me, email me!

Music writing and promotion

I am the owner and Editor-in-Chief of UK/US/IE music Web site There Goes the Fear (established in 2006), where I joined as USA editor in August 2009 and became editor and owner in August 2010. The site was nominated 4 years running (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, until they stopped the event) in the Best Blog Category in music industry Web site Record of the Day's annual Awards for Music Journalism. I put the site on ice in April 2019, only updating in special circumstances, such as to preview a special show at the Kennedy Space Center starring Duran Duran, part of the NASA's 50th anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 moon landing on 16 July 2019. I'll be updating the site in 2020 to reflect the industry events I attend this year. Stay tuned.

My first big project after putting TGTF on ice in 2019 was writing a multipart feature based on a candid interview with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) cofounder Andy McCluskey for his band's official Web site. In October 2019, they released the special 40th anniversary 'Souvenir' box set, containing unreleased and previously unheard audio material, rare live tv performances, concerts in full on both audio and video, and all of their 40 singles released over their storied career. Read more in these links: part 1 | part 2 | part 3

While TGTF brought our readers coverage of established bands already considered mainstream that myself and my writers already loved, the mission of TGTF was simple: to support talented up-and-coming acts and help them get to the stage where being a musician can lead to a sustainable career. I am a well-known and respected member of the music industry for my tireless championing of indie bands and artists, especially those from the UK, and for my hard-working ethic. In 2015, longtime BBC radio presenter Steve Lamacq introduced me to UK industry movers and shakers at SXSW as "our best American champion of British music we have".

Press coverage I've done in the past covering events on three continents include:

I was one of the first music journalists to write about the 1975 (Manchester, England), Glass Animals (Oxford, England), the Joy Formidable (North Wales), Kodaline (Dublin, Ireland), Two Door Cinema Club (Bangor, Northern Ireland), and We Were Promised Jetpacks (Edinburgh, Scotland), just to name a handful of UK-based bands who are now high-profile, global successes.

Music was always my first love. I started taking piano lessons at age 3, and while I don't play (much) anymore, I can still pick out melodies from days gone by and have an exceptional memory of songs and lyrics. I sang in school choir (lead alto) for as long as I can remember. My high school choir teacher got really upset when I told her I wasn't majoring in voice or piano in university. A tough moment, but needs must sometimes.

These days, I play bass (a black 5-string ESP named Blake), sing, and write poetry in my spare time. As a music writer, I appreciate good songwriting and take great joy in analyzing song lyrics; whenever I'm feeling particularly inspired, I'll post my thoughts on my lyric interpretation site Music in Notes.

How I got here

I used to write for Click Music (2010) before writing for UK print and online magazine This is Fake DIY (now DIY Mag) exclusively (2010-2012), and for American music Web site PopWreckoning (2009-2011) before it went on hiatus. I was also a contributor to CALMzine, the magazine of UK anti-suicide organisation Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

I previously worked in nonprofit scientific journal publishing and on government contracts in the Washington, DC, area, supporting promotion of clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. I am an accredited Editor with the Board of Editors of the Life Sciences, a measure of my editorial proficiency in clinical and basic science writing. I am also available for scientific writing and editing projects. I trained as a molecular biologist at university. My days looking at Drosophila (fruit flies) under a dissecting microscope in the genetics lab are long behind me, but I'm still what you call a boffin when it comes to anything geeky or scientific. I take pictures like this on my travels.

I'm convinced the stork dropped me off in the wrong country. Although I am American by birth and Chinese by ancestry, I adore England, Scotland, Australia, and Ireland. I have strange, strong connections to Scotland and the North of England, especially with Glasgow, Liverpool, and Yorkshire.

February 2020

My music writing

Albums / EPs / singles I've reviewed
Artists / bands I've interviewed
Shows and music events I've covered / attended worldwide

I contribute / have contributed to:

  • Music in Notes (from 2012-) - personal lyric interpretation site, providing thoughtful analysis to words in popular song
  • There Goes the Fear (from 2009-) - UK/US music Web site where I am editor and owner; the site was nominated four times for Record of the Day's Best Blog (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, until they stopped running the awards event)
  • One Week // One Band (6-10 July 2015) - popular music appreciation Web site I took over for a week, writing 30 posts about the music of English band Keane (posts in chronological order here)
  • CALMzine (2011-2012) - magazine of the UK anti-suicide organisation Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM); my profile on their Web site is here; hard copy issues I've contributed to include the inaugural relaunch of the print magazine in 2011 and the 2012 Drugs issue
  • This is Fake DIY (now DIY Mag) - UK music magazine (print and online; 2010-2012), my author archive here
  • Click Music - UK music magazine (online only; 2010)
  • PopWreckoning - U.S. music blog (online only; 2009-2011), where I was their resident British music expert and wrote many of their news posts

Selected music features

Essays (for There Goes the Fear, except where noted)

Top albums of the year (my picks as Editor of TGTF): 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

Interviews (for There Goes the Fear, except where noted)

Live reviews (for There Goes the Fear, except where noted)

Music editing / writing / promoting specialties

Scientific journal management / editing / writing specialties and experience

  • management of peer-reviewed article process for scholarly journals, including customization of HighWire Bench Press, eJournalPress, and Clarivate Analytics' ScholarOne systems
  • substantive content editing, copyediting, and proofreading skills
  • journal Web site redesign to improve user experience (UX/UI)
  • promotion of content, including design of subpages, brochures, and other physical handouts, and the writing of targeted emails
  • rewriting technical terminology into lay language for the biological sciences
  • publication ethics investigation and preparation of documents
  • advising to Editors-in-Chief on content and policy matters
  • sales of scientific content for commercial use
  • excellent oral and written communication skills with scientists, press, and lay people

Where else to find me online
with Tom Chaplin of Keane
Washington, DC, January 2017

with Steve Lamacq of BBC 6 Music
at SXSW, Austin, TX, March 2015

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