12:30 New Desert BluesFishbowl
13:40 On and OnThe Courtyard
15:30 Empress ofFitzherberts
16:00 Susanne SundforThe Courtyard
19:30 Marika HackmanUnitarian Church
I have wanted to make playlists for this blog for ages, and this morning I was having a read around Skeletory‘s blog (amazing blog, check it out) and I realised that Soundcloud allow you to make sets!? I don’t know why I never realised this before, as I’ve listened to loads of sets but never thought about making one.
So this first playlist is a summary of my favourite tracks of this last month. Be prepared for playlists for every occasion, festival and season of the year. Looking back, it’s been a good month for music. Ahhhh…
I’ve given lots of hints on this blog and also in my Twitter feed that I really, really like this record. Now it is time to declare my full love for the mini album, ‘That Iron Taste’ is probably my favourite record of the year so far. Marika Hackman was one of my Ones to Watch for 2013, and unfortunately failed to make it onto many other peoples lists. However, I was adamant that she was something very special and with the release of this EP, I would like to think that I was right.
The record at only 7 tracks long, is a taster of Marika’s talents. Produced part by Charlie Andrew (Alt-J) and part by Johnny Flynn, she’s been in good hands in the making. The production is exquisite and shows how interesting you can make singer-songwriters sound if you put a bit of effort in. It seems like every single female singer-songwriter out there is compared to Laura Marling, and I am pleased to say that you can’t do that with Marika Hackman, her sound is her own.
Opening track Bath is Black sets the tone for what is not a conventional record. The unusual percussive sounds contrast wonderfully with Marika’s mellow voice. Mountain Spires and You Come Down have previously been released as a 7″ single, and these are the two tracks produced by Johnny Flynn and so naturally are more folky in there composition but still encompass that signature songwriting of Marika, both dark, dreary and quirky in it’s own way.
Cannibal is the highlight of the record, it’s the best written song and least obscure sounding. If you hear any of this on the radio, it’s likely to be this song. I do have a secret love for Retina Television though, which was recorded completely using sounds of Marika’s voice and body. It sounds like nothing else you’ve ever heard and the beauty of the song adds a softness to the record, which in places has a industrial sounding edge.
This is an interesting, exciting and daring record from such a young singer songwriter. It shows incredible natural creativity and talent and I am very intrigued to see what she will do next.
‘That Iron Taste’ is released today on Dirty Hit, click here to download if from iTunes.
The Great Escape is without a doubt one of my favourite UK festivals. Every year the line-up is incredible and, how better to spend a weekend in May than running around beautiful Brighton seeing some of the best new music the world has to offer. Last year my highlights were Grimes, Palma Violets and Alabama Shakes, and judging by the line-up just announced for this year, 2013 could even top that!
You can view the full line-up of their website, but here is a few of my highlights so far…
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
You can purchase tickets here, and they are only £45 for the weekend. See you there!
I posted a radio rip of this before, but here it is, the proper version of Cannibal. A stunning song with lush instrumentation, taken from Marika’s soon to be released mini-album That Iron Taste (which is amazing I promise).
New track from a Flying with Anna Ones to Watch, Marika Hackman. This track reminds me of songs from Joanna Newsom’s first record ‘The Milk Eyed-Mender’.
In my Ones to Watch list last year, there are at least 5 acts on the list I would have described as folk. This year, there is 1, this one, Marika Hackman. So if you were after a list of acoustic guitars and fiddles, you better get your fix now.
Since the ‘folk boom’ year of 2008, things have got a little less interesting in the genre, and now I think almost everyone is dire bored of banjo’s and people singing about grass and God. There have been several sub-genres, ‘folktornica’, ‘night folk, ‘doom folk’, anything to make it interesting again. When all we really need is someone to come along, who isn’t going out with someone in Mumford & Sons, who writes beautiful songs, and is still folk, but also, a breath of fresh air. And for me, that person is Marika Hackman.
Her debut single You Come Down/Mountain Spines was produced by Johnny Flynn and released on Paradyse Records, an offshot of Transgressive. It’s a beautiful set of songs, layered with interesting instrumentation and rich melodies. She has already announced the follow up to that single in the form of an EP which will be released on February 25th entitled ’That Iron Taste’. The track ‘Cannibal’ which is below is taken from that EP, and what a lovely offering it is. The song shows yet another development in Marika’s sound, taking it to a darker and even more interesting place than the debut single.
Her sound resonates with many artists from the 1960′s but it is still distinctively her own, and through working with Alt-J’s producer Charlie Andrew, I think the upcoming EP could be something pretty special.
Big fan of this girl.
I introduced you to Marika Hackman a few weeks ago. She has very recently put up two new tracks and they confirm what I originally stated- this girl is wonderful. My favourite of the two tracks ‘You Come Down’ is well instrumented and layered beautifully creating quite a special song. Also check out ‘Mountain Spines’.
I do love a bit of female fronted folk. However there is a lot of dull and uninteresting stuff out there, thankfully there is also some gems and this is another one. Marika Hackman is a 20-year old singer songwriter, originally from Hampshire but now living in Brighton. She is also one of Burburry’s new Eyeware campaign models along with musicians from bands like One Night Only and The Daydream Club.
Her track ‘Here I Am’ has a very snazzy video featuring her and a cello player in a dark room wearing some Burberry sunglasses. But strip all that back, and the song is very beautiful. She reminds me a lot of Sibylle Baier, both with her guitar style and her voice. There is a simplicity to her voice, it sounds untouched and I really like that.
Her debut EP is due out this month, I am looking forward to hearing her develop.