Next Wave #573: Marika Hackman

Abstract folk that's exploring a different darkness...
Marika Hackman, shot by Lorenzo Dalbosco for Clash issue 94

It’s the last day of Marika Hackman’s tour, and we’re catching up with the “abstract folk” songstress, excited to play a sold-out London show.

“This is the first time I’ve ever had a band, and the audiences have all been really nice and receptive,” she tells Clash. “It’s been going really well and I’ve had a great time.”

Having just released her third EP, ‘Deaf Heat’, Hackman has been surfing a prolific wave of creativity since surfacing last year.

“I would say ‘Deaf Heat’ is probably darker than the stuff I’ve done before, and it’s a bit more experimental as well. There’s a choral piece that I wrote, which opens up the EP (‘Tongues’) and goes into ‘Deep Green’, which has quite a tribal feel. It’s quite full. And there’s another track on there, called ‘Call Off The Dogs’, which is a bit more stripped back.”

A choral piece?

“I love choral music, and always have done, but I use a lot of harmonies in my songs anyway. I love vocal harmonies, it’s like my favourite thing and I’ve actually been struggling with this song for about three years, so I just took out all of the instrumental stuff and started writing it as a choral piece and finished it off. Only then did I realise that it actually worked. It was a very happy accident.”

Constantly modifying her sound with each release, it’s becoming almost impossible to categorise Hackman’s delicately laced recordings. She’s soon to head back to Brixton’s Iguana Studios with Charlie Andrew (Alt-JEugene McGuinness) to finally record her debut album.

“I want to be making records that sound different to each other,” she explains. “I think doing that early on builds you up as an artist, rather than feeling like you have to keep doing the same thing, otherwise fans aren’t going to be interested anymore because you’ve changed your sound. Whereas if you’re changing it constantly from the start, they know that that’s what they’ve got to expect, that things are going to go in different directions.”

And with such an evolving soundscape, who knows what wonderment will emerge with Marika’s debut album?

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WHERE: London

WHAT: Abstract folk

GET 3 SONGS: ‘Deep Green’ (live video above), ‘Call Off The Dogs’, ‘Cinnamon’

FACT: The scar on Marika’s left eyebrow was caused by a bite from her brother’s pet pig.

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Words: Jonathan Hatchman
Photo: Lorenzo Dalbosco
Fashion: Lola Chatterton

Find Marika Hackman online here

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