Marika Hackman’s debut album has finally arrived, marking an incredibly promising start for the 23 year old solo artist. Coming after three years of hard graft, in whcih se teamed up with the likes of Leeds boys Alt-J as well as folk powerhouse Laura Marling, this album proves to be a purposeful and powerful statement of intent.
Kicking things off, the album’s lead single ‘Drown’ sets the tone with its spooky atmosphere. This is followed by ‘Before I Sleep’ maintaining the animalistic imagery and unnerving melodies. This is an album of understated and melancholic songs which, though interesting at first, soon becomes a little monotonous. You have to wonder how many songs you could really pick out individually that are worth a second listen.
The only genuine high point the album comes in the form of ‘Animal Fear’. It’s hard to define this kind of music; it sits right on the threshold between folk and rock. The gloomy ambience stands out but it’s only once this track in to slide more towards the indie-folk section as an upbeat and cheery guitar-filled chorus that it really shines for me, which giving a new flavour to Hackman. That said, while the other singles make for a good listen they don’t have that press-repeat effect that ‘Animal Fear’ does.
This is a good start for Marika Hackman, she establishes herself and her preference for the dark and the glum, but this consistency means the individual songs never manage to be memorable. Hers is a sound you won’t necessarily forget, it’s just tough to say that it’s one that invites you back for more.