Release Date: Nov 13, 2020
Record label: Transgressive
What have we all been doing in lockdown if not clinging to the songs that make us feel something? Marika Hackman knows a thing or two about the cathartic release of musical escape, and on 'Covers', she rummages deep in her playlist of favourites, pulling out a range of tracks that she can coat in her own special layer of dark-pop frosting. While the old X-Factor compliment might be cheesier than the sandwich you forgot you left in your desk drawer pre-social distancing, Marika's ability to truly make each song her own is her biggest strength, giving her selection here a reassuringly even sonic energy. A way to stretch her musical limbs without the creative pressure of crafting new material, the soft, rounded edges that she uses recall the colour palette of her debut, 'We Slept At Last', diving deep into the gentle undulations of mellow low-fi and plaintive voice.
Picking over the bones of her recent musical fascinations, East End multi-instrumentalist Marika Hackman has chosen some daunting works to tackle on this selection of sombre interpretations, from miserablist troubadors such as Elliott Smith, Sharon Van Etten and Edith Frost to the hyper gloss blast of Grimes, MUNA and Beyoncé. Similar to the timeless folk of her debut We Slept At Last, with dashes of the downtempo echo chamber pop found on the first The xx record, the adoption of low energy, skeletal electronic instrumentation serves to shine a light on her often brittle and vocoder cloaked vocals. A sensation of emotional fatigue circles above proceedings, as the music elicits the haunting effect that this ongoing lack of human intimacy is having on all of our psyches.