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Headlining are Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) With support from Hector Gannet And Andy Thompson
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Marika Hackman - Big Sigh

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Marika Hackman - Big Sigh
Label: Chrysalis
Format: LP


Melancholic and brooding combination of piano ballads and indie folk on latest album from multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Marika Hackman

The latest album by Hampshire-born, multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Marika Hackman, daughter of two professional animators, a Finnish father and an English mother, is an intriguing mix of brooding piano ballads and catchy Indie folk, a sense of unease coupled with frissons of angst pervading these, against a backdrop of visceral, anatomical imagery. ‘Big Sigh’, a record on which Hackman plays virtually every instrument except brass and strings, stands in striking contrast to her breakthrough 2019 poppier ‘Any Human Friend’. Songs to listen out for in this ten-track collection include: the atmospheric opener ‘The Ground’ with its classic piano and strings and spellbinding chorus: “Gold is on the ground/I was happy for a while”; the frenetic, introspective ‘No Caffeine’ with its laconic advice on how to avoid a panic attack: ”Take a day off work, call your mum/Have a glass of wine, stay away from fun”; the grunge, guitar-driven title track; autopsy of a failed relationship ‘Hanging’, a devastating ballad building into a crescendo with its graphic, uncompromising lines: “Remember when you said I’m a disease/And how you’d like to kill me in your dreams” and the eventual, exultant cathartic release: “Yeah, you were a part of me/I’m so relieved it hurts”; the moving instrumental ‘Lonely House’ ; the melancholy, experimental ‘Vitamins’; Indie rocker ‘Slime’ with its charged sexual energy; and the sparse acoustic ‘The Yellow Mile’ with its hypnotic refrain - ”Show me the bones that we buried outside (don’t be so)/No home-grown, this is better (kind)” - bringing to a full circle the rollercoaster ride of emotions. With emotive lyrics, orchestral moments, imprinted with a burning candour, ‘Big Sigh’ is an intense musical encounter which resonates on repeated listening.

Track Listing:-
1 The Ground
2 No Caffeine
3 Big Sigh
4 Blood
5 Hanging
6 The Lonely House
7 Vitamins
8 Slime
9 Please Don't Be So Kind
10 The Yellow Mile

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