Fern Knight is the musical project of Philadelphia-born Margie Ayre. Ayre’s early influences are in rock music and she played in the shoegaze band Difference Engines. She started playing acoustic songs with her bandmate Michael Corcoran, and it soon turned into a serious project:
‘My idea for Fern Knight to be mostly acoustic folk-rock, achieved on whatever instruments we had lying around my living room,’ Ayre says. ‘From germs of songs to fullyformed ones, we homed in on a sound for about three years’. (Leech, 2010, p.268)
The result was Fern Knight’s first album, Seven Years of Severed Limbs (2003). The album is a collection of intimate and minimalistic folk songs, carried by Ayre voice and her effortless sense of harmony. Followed Music for Witches and Alchemists (2006), recorded at Hexham Head with members of Espers. It is the first full songwriting effort for Ayre, and the album has a more developed, progressive sound, influenced by Ayre’s early classical training.