Israeli band MARBL caught the attention of Clash earlier this year.
A boy/girl outfit, the band's left field but curiously accessible take on the pop template has resulted in some oddly infectious sounds.
Clash premiered the group's track 'In The Grey' earlier this year and praised its "sense of flowering experience that retains subtle traces of innocence."
Intrigued, we then followed this up with a few questions – dive in below…
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How did the two of you get together? What sparked MARBL?
Jonathan: Our story begin, is these stories often go, with a visit to the museum. While I was studying in London, Moria popped by for a visit right after she released her debut album in Israel, and while we were strolling through the Museum of Natural History, we started chatting about the possibility of working together. It became that much more concrete when a few months later, I was presented with the task of producing a full length album as a final project, and without hesitating asked Moria if she could put some songs down. Why mention the museum? While we were there, there was a massive queue to an exhibition about marble, which we both agreed was slightly odd. And so, when the time came to choose a name for the album, I suggested that very name, but accidently omitted the E in my text. And so it was…
Moria: Up until that point I focused more about writing in Hebrew, and haven’t heard any of Jon’s work as a producer. I’ve experimented with songwriting in English before, and was very curious about taking on a full-sized project. And since at the time we were in the thralls of a long-distance relationship, the theme chosen was “coping with the distance”. And while our repertoire grew since then and we’re exploring other themes and concepts, being physically distant has fueled the inception of MARBL and provided it with a distinct tone.
How does songwriting work? Is it 50/50 or does one person take the lead on, say, lyrics?
Moria: Our division of labor is as follows – I write the music and lyrics, and then produce a rough piano/vocal sketch for Jonathan to lay arrangements and production on top of them. Jonathan: Like every producer finds out at one stage or another, recreating that raw, primal delivery of the sketches when recording the final vocals for each song is one of the biggest challenges you could face.
What inspired 'In The Grey' specifically? Can you remember writing it? Did it come easily?
Moria: 'In The Grey' was in fact the first song that was written for MARBL, before MARBL officially existed. After our first London encounter, and the emotions it sparked, I returned home where everything felt slightly off keel. Like I’ve been left in Limbo, a sort of twilight zone, or as I envisioned it – 'In The Grey'.
Jonathan: Also, since I was living in NW London at the time, the main way to commute back and forth was the Jubilee – or grey – line, so there you have it. Moria: The song came pouring out pretty effortlessly, and a few months later, while Jonathan was visiting, I played a sketch recording of it while on a long drive. We both knew what the song was about, but kept silent and let the sentiment hang.
Can you tell us a little about the video? Do you get involved in your visuals, or do you prefer to sit back and give the director free reign?
Jonathan: I’ll hand the mic over to the executive producer.
Moria: After the short, bittersweet, romantic featurette we produced for our first single, Time Takes Time, which was directed by our friend and gifted filmmaker Gosha Demin, we wanted a different approach. We got director Tomer Levi on board, and together concocted an alternate interpretation of what 'In The Grey' might be – a post apocalyptic world, where social codes of conduct have collapsed, and a society of people has to relearn the fundamentals of humanity – passion, love, anger, joy. We are deeply involved in the creative direction of our videos. While we do let the directors – Gosha Demin for 'Time Takes Time' and Tomer Levi for 'In The Grey' – relative freedom in cinematography, the storyboard is definitely a collective effort. We’re a little control-freaks like that.
What are your plans for 2016?
To take over the world! But seriously, the first item on our list is the release of our debut EP, followed by a tour of Germany in April, and setting the gears in motion for our next release. In between, we should pop up for a visit to London, New York and beyond. 2016 is going to be a whirlwind for us, and we can’t wait for it hit the ground!
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Find MARBL online HERE.