Marika Hackman – ‘Deep Green’

Marika Hackman by Pip for Dirty Hit Records

If anyone out there harbored any doubts concerning Marika Hackman‘s talent, new offering ‘Deep Green’ should dispel them once and for all.

New single ‘Deep Green’ follows on the heels of last years mini-album, That Iron Taste & Sugar Blind EP, and she has conjured up another wonderfully ghostly and dark folk song. ‘Deep Green’ manages to retain the haunting, fragile beauty and  predilection for the morose and gloomy, that marked her earlier releases, whilst delivering something altogether more intense and ghostly. Driven by haunting wails, tribal percussion and a rather unnerving sample in the background; Hackman’s quietly foreboding tale unfolds, with her fragile voice still her finest asset. There’s tranquility in this spectral landscape she creates, but it’s a broody calm fraught with neurosis of deep green water. There’s a dark allure to this one, and one that’ll have you hooked. 

‘Deep Green’ is taken from the forthcoming Deaf Heat EP, released on April 14th through Dirty Hit. 

BarryGruff’s Albums of the Year 2013

BarryGruff Albums of the year 2013

It’s that time of year once again when every music blog, website and magazine busy themselves with list making activities, and this blog is no different. Due to other commitments this year, especially the second half, it was rather difficult to keep on top of album reviews for the blog. Saying that, I reckon I’ve listened to as many records as any other year without finding the opportunity to share my thoughts on many of them.

Without further ado, here’s the BarryGruff ‘Albums of the Year’ for 2013.

25. Crystal Stilts – ‘Nature Noir’

24. Appelscal – ‘Dreaming In Key’

23. Trwbador – ‘Trwbador’

22. Mr. Huw – ‘Cariad Affaich’

21. King Krule – ‘6 Feet Beneath the Moon’

20. Channel Swimmer – ‘Alphabet’

19. Valeria June – ‘Pushin’ Against A Stone’

18. Veronica Falls – ‘Waiting for Something to Happen’

17. Arctic Monkeys – ‘AM’

16. Public Service Broadcasting – ‘Inform – Educate – Entertain’

15. Marika Hackman – ‘That Iron Taste’

A collection potent songs of enigmatic beauty, That Iron Taste is a gorgeous and charmed introduction to the delectable talents of Marika Hackman. It is done so with a striking vocal delivery, sounding both wise and beautiful, imbued with a telling level of touching emotion. She channels something beautifully rich and dramatic in telling these rather dark poetic stories. Absolutely no substandard happy-clappy folk pop nonsense on show here, on the contrary, her debut (mini) album is quite frankly a haunting, numinous experience.

[Stream on Spotify]

14. The Pictish Trail – ‘Secret Soundz, Volume 2’

Most likely the greatest album to be recorded solely in a caravan, Secret Soundz, Volume 2, is the second LP from The Pictish Trail, the alter ego of Scottish musician Johnny Lynch. Throughout the LP, he’s in a contemplative, often melancholic mood, concerned with life’s ups and downs. In contrast, musically Secret Sounds is rather chipper, spurred on by a glorious melange of oddball sounds, sparks of frazzled electronics and instrumental breaks. A magnificent record; warm, inviting and full of charming quirks from an exceptional talent.

13. Biggles Flys Again – ‘Remember Saturday’

Ireland produces plenty of great bands but where it falls short, of say our Welsh neighbors, is when it comes to indie bands of the weird and wonderful variety. In Biggles Flys Again, the moniker of Conor Deasy, we’ve got a domestic talent flying that flag. Biggles’ debut album Remember Saturday displays real talent for 3 minute pop gems. It is brimming with enchanting and whimsical good old fashioned pop songs, filled with sinuous melodies and organic arrangement. This is pop in the old fashioned sense, played by a band, and with an assured sense of style.

[Stream on Spotify]

12. Akala – ‘The Thieves Banquet’

Since the release of his debut in 2006, Akala has proven himself as one of the most articulate, intelligent and talented MC’s around, a trend continued on his fourth LP. A potent wave of righteous fury crashes through The Thieves Banquet. The world is beset by many problems, varied and plentiful they may be but Akala manages to take plenty of them head on. He remains passionate, focused and sharp when tackling everything from a sense of powerlessness to change things, to berating imperialism,  slavery, capitalists, 3rd world dictators and the clergy. A very fine record indeed.

[Stream on Spotify]

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Marika Hackman – ‘Cinnamon’


Marika Hackman is back with a new track ‘Cinnamon’, taken from her forthcoming EP, Sugar Blind.

Building on the triumph that was her debut mini-album, That Iron Taste, the new single suggests that whatever the hype surrounding her and her music, it is entirely justified. ‘Cinnamon’ offers something a little different to what we heard on That Iron Taste. A combo of slightly ominous percussion and imaginative arrangements prove that when she chooses to supplement her songs with more than just her trusty guitar, she can do it with style. Although the power and purity of Hackman’s vocals remain the undeniable focal point and adds a certain flickering warmth to the song. There is something so beautiful about Marika Hackman’s music, she’s got such a knack for drawing out emotion without overcooking the song. Anyone who saw her open for Johnny Flynn in Whelan’s last week will testify to this.

You can give ‘Cinnamon’ a listen below, ahead of the release of Sugar Blind on December 9th. Also, if you haven’t yet heard That Iron Taste, there’s no time like the present [Spotify|Deezer].

(Video) Marika Hackman – ‘Bath Is Black’

We’ve been on the receiving end of a deluge ‘new folk artists’ in recent times. In reality, by and large, they have been purveyors of substandard happy-clappy pop, with a few notable exception of course. Marika Hackman is one of the latter and a welcome respite from the mundane. 

Hackman’s songs are potent and beautiful, her voice is strikingly, powerful and pure. With the release of her mini album, That Iron Taste, only around the corner (out February 25th), she has unveiled two intimate acoustic videos for ‘Bath Is Black’ & ‘Mountain Spines’ . Both of these tracks feature on the forthcoming release but more importantly, they are two astonishing songs in their own right. An introduction, if one were needed, to the wonderful talent of Marika Hackman.

Check out ‘Bath Is Black’ & ‘Mountain Spines’ below. That Iron Taste is out on February 25th through Dirty Hit, one for the diaries. 

(Video) Marika Hackman – ‘You Come Down’

We were introduced to Marika Hackman and her beautiful potent folk songs earlier in the summer. Now, with the release of her debut double A-side ‘You Come Down’/’Mountain Spines’ fast approaching, September 3rd in fact, Marika Hackman has unveiled a bewitching video for the haunting single ‘You Come Down’. Filmed in an abandoned house in Dorset, complements the song’s eerie character perfectly.

No substandard happy-clappy folk pop nonsense on offer here, the double A-Side provides an excellent introduction to what Marika Hackman is all about 

Introducing: Marika Hackman | potent folk songs of enigmatic beauty

We have suffered something of a deluge ‘new folk artists’ from Britain in recent times. In reality, by and large, they have been purveyors of substandard happy-clappy pop, with a few notable exception of course. 

One such exception is London singer-songwriter Marika Hackman, whose folk style will undoubtedly see comparisons to Laura Marling. These are potent songs of enigmatic beauty with a striking vocal delivery, sounding both wise and beautiful, imbued with a striking level of touching emotion. She’s been working with Johnny Flynn and Adam Beach from the Sussex Wit to produce the double A-Side ‘You Come Down’ and ‘Mountain Spines’.

The double A-Side provides an excellent introduction to what Marika Hackman is all about and is released on September 3rd. Marika Hackman will also play a couple of Irish shows in late October/early November. 

 Marika Hackman – You Come Down

 Marika Hackman – Mountain Spines