We’ve been fans of Marika Hackman for some time, after seeing her peform at the launch of her debut single back in September 2012 and, with her first full length album on the way, we think we’re going to be hearing a lot more from the Brighton-based singer-songwriter in 2014.
She might be mates with Cara Delevinge and have a cut-glass speaking voice, but don’t be fooled: Ms Hackman is not a fashion set wannabe. That voice is absolutely spine-tingling, and her songs are just as deliciously unsettling.
Vocally she’s as spooked and gloomy as Nico, and she tells haunted fairy tales that Joanna Newsom would kill for. She’s got a wicked sense of humour too, and that’s evidenced throughout even her darkest tracks.
Introuducing a song, Here I Lie, at a gig earlier this year, she said: “This song’s a happy one… it’s about someone who goes to meet their love in the woods, but they don’t turn up so they lie on the floor and die,” she says. “But there’s a twist! Their love turns up! But they’re already dead.” And so began a tale of “sickly sweet, rotting flesh” and lost limbs, decaying into forest floors.
But it’s not all doom. For her publishing she’s signed to Transgressive, and her label mates have rallied around to support her; her debut single was produced by Johnny Flynn, and members of Theme Park have been spotted at her shows. Their breezy pop lilt runs through some of the more lavishly produced songs on the mini-album she released in early 2013, creating a brilliantly confused, almost creepy sound. Her latest EP Sugar Blind, out through Dirty Hit, is notable in its maturity; she’s making big steps very quickly, but remains faithful to her core sound. As Marika told us in a recent interview: “I always prefer a sad song to a happy song.”