Marika Hackman

"We Slept At Last"

(Sony); Alt.folk

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Marika Hackman has released 2 Eps but We Slept At Last is her debut full length offering and it’s coloured a very dark shade of black indeed.

A bit like Grimm’s Fairy Tales set to music, this album is wondrously Gothic and layered with dead leaves and things overgrown and smelling of soil.

Though her vocal tones are sweet and true, her deadpan delivery sets up a narrator’s distance from the characters within.

And what characters they are - the dead lovers on Monday Afternoon, the soon to be werewolf of Animal Fear, the insecure lovers on Skin.

The arrangements throughout are sparse, the instruments often played like a breath being held, hinting at rather than openly delivering.

And, in this regard, they are a perfect match for Hackman’s restrained vocals - both instruments and voice sound like they’re biting their lips, scratching at scabs without drawing blood.

These are songs that make you want to look behind you - they’re unsettling, eerie and strangely beautiful, like the flowing hair of the drowned maiden or the lacework pattern of the dusty, unworn wedding dress.

Brooding and atmospheric.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.