Posts Tagged ‘I’m Not Your Man’

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Featuring her performing with her new band, who you might have seen out on tour this year, Marika Hackman has a new video out for the song “Time’s Been Reckless” – taken from her album I’m Not Your ManThe video features a bunch of references to the album artwork by Tristan Piggott, switching between 35mm film and glitchy, lo-fi FX around Marika and her live band.

“I wanted to do a performance video to highlight the energetic nature of the music, but I also wanted more gruesome visuals to reflect the dark themes of death and decay within the lyrics. We filmed maggots, snails and various other insects feeding on different foods from the album artwork, in a style that harks back to those old VHS tapes teachers would put on in biology lessons.”
Marika Hackman

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On first listen , ‘Cigarette’ has far more in common with debut album Marika Hackman than anything else she’s shared from ‘I’m Not Your Man’ so far. Taking a hefty drag of delicately plucked acoustic guitar, and watching the melodies tumble away in wisps of smoke, it’s a thoughtful, reflective song.

Still, while ‘Cigarette’ might mark a step back from the bombast of the other tracks previewed so far in ‘Boyfriend,’ ‘My Lover Cindy’ and the climactic, crashing surge that ends ‘Violet,’ it’s actually got little in common with her debut ‘We Left At Last’. Lyrically it’s a stark affair, painting the scene of an argument in a carpark; with minimal brushstrokes. “Turn to the headlight glare, cry and pretend you care, I love it when we make a scene,” Marika sings, her verses thin on detail and letting the gaps do the talking. “Something to talk about, rather than fuck and shout, maybe we could go to sleep.” A brilliantly spare song, that captures all the frustration of two people who can’t quite spit their words out, ‘Cigarette’ might seem elusive at first, but it’s got all the welly of her other singles.

 

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I’m Not Your Man, is the Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Rae Morris)-produced second album from Marika Hackman, begins with an impromptu hearty laugh. it’s the sound of liberation, spontaneity, and joy. 24-year-old Hackman is feeling more herself than ever. Life isn’t necessarily funnier or happier, but when there’s cause for a joke or a big ballsy statement, she’s not holding back any more.

The album took almost 18 months to complete, during which time Hackman switched to a new manager and a new label, transitions that yielded new avenues for exploration, a lot of time, and a lot of distance – mainly, she insists, from self-imposed boundaries. “I used to be very self-conscious,” explains Hackman. “If something sounded a bit too pop or like I’d heard it before I’d mold it into something different. This time around I thought, ‘fuck it, I’ll just let it flow.’”

The results of this semi-anarchic approach are evident in the grungier, catchier sonics of I’m Not Your Man, and the lyrics, which reveal an unhinged and shamelessly free Hackman. There’s an open-ended nature to the lyrics, which delve into femininity, sex and sexual identity, millennial ennui, the pressures of living in a social media bubble, and the perils of being young in a fast-paced industry. “The record’s all about female relationships, romance and breakdowns, but there’s also a dim worldview going on. ‘I’m Not Your Man’ can either mean ‘I’m not your man, I’m your woman,’ or it can mean ‘I’m not a part of this.’”

Hackman cranked up the knobs in the studio, turning away from the quieter sounds of her past to realize her teenage fantasy of fronting a raucous band. “I wanted to let rip and lose control. When I was younger I wasn’t looking at Joni Mitchell. I was looking at Nirvana thinking, ‘I wanna be like that!’” To channel this feral female energy, Hackman recruited London quartet The Big Moon as her backing band. The results are a dynamic, multi-genre album tied together by razor-sharp wit. The sounds span from Cate Le Bon weirdness to Warpaint dirge jams to straight-up Britpop choruses. “People were saying it was a mash-up between Radiohead, Blondie and The Cure,” laughs Hackman, self-mockingly. “I can’t wait to see the reaction,” she says. “That’s the thrill of reinventing yourself. I might piss off a lot of die-hard folky fans but this is still my brain, it’s still my world, and I’m gonna create it how I want.”

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Marika Hackman the 25-year-old British singer/songwriter with a ’90s alt-rock kind of vibe. She has toured with Laura Marling and sang on alt-J’s last album. Her debut album, “We Slept at Last”, came out in the U.K. in 2015. But she recently signed to Sub Pop and is now releasing her second album “I’m Not Your Man” on the label on June 2nd. She has already shared a video for the album’s first single, “Boyfriend” Now here’s another song from the album, “My Lover Cindy.” .

Charlie Andrew (alt-J) produced and mixed I’m Not Your Man at various locales around London. The British band The Big Moon  (Hackman’s friends) acted as Hackman’s backing band on the album. “They really captured the soul of what it all meant to me and brought a lot of fun and creativity,” said Hackman in a previous press release about working with The Big Moon. Hackman also had this to say about the album in the press release: “The record’s all about female relationships, romance and breakdowns, but there’s also a dim worldview going on. I’m Not Your Man can either mean, ‘I’m not your man, I’m your woman,’ or it can mean, ‘I’m not a part of this.'” The album will be released in Europe by AMF Records.

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Marika Hackman’s forthcoming album “I’m Not Your Man” features a striking cover created by artist Tristan Pigott.

Hackman asked Pigott to paint a group portrait of everyone who was closely involved in making the album. “That was really important to me … everyone came together to make this,” she says. The singer-songwriter is pictured standing in a messy kitchen alongside Juliette Jackson, Soph Nathan, Celia Archer and Fern Ford from the band The Big Moon. Producer Charlie Andrews’ face appears on passport photos on a wooden dining table.

Pigott’s painting is filled with references to tracks from the record as well as recurring themes in his own work. Cucumbers often appear in his art and he is fascinated with images of dying and decaying plants. Sliced apples and cigarette butts refer to song titles and a portrait of Hackman’s friend Gina appears in the pages of a magazine – a reference to the track Gina’s World.

Tristan Pigott's oil painting for Marika Hackman's album, I'm Not Your Man

The layout of the portrait reflects the recording process: Archer and Fern played bass and drums in one room while Hackman and Nathan played guitar in another. “We had two rooms and a window in between so we could see each other,” explains Hackman.

There are also references to the cover of Hackman’s previous album We Slept At Last. A painting on the wall inspired by Tracey Emin’s famous artwork My Bed features the same mattress and colour scheme used on the album’s cover.

Alongside this, there are phallic symbols, smiley faces and images alluding to key themes on the album. Dirty dishes represent a rejection of domestic ideals and a detailed postcard on the floor juxtaposed with a simplistic view from a window represent how “we’d rather be looking at the world through a glamourised perspective [ie on social media] than acknowledging reality” – a theme prevalent in the track blahblahblah, says Hackman.

It’s a striking image and a highly detailed one. While most solo artists opt for an image of themselves on their album covers, Hackman’s artwork reflects the idea of an album as a collaborative process. Pigott’s surreal scene offers a window into both Hackman’s world and his and hidden references reward repeat viewing.

“There’s a lot of stuff in there which I think is really fun. It was fun to think of and when I’m looking at record sleeves, that’s what I want to look for and discover. It’s a much more exciting prospect than taking a picture of my face and putting it on the cover,” says Hackman.

Hackman met Pigott at a party and says she “fell in love” with his work. “It’s so incredibly detailed but not everything is quite right,” she says. “Sometimes eyes are slightly off or colours are quite flat … and it creates this really weird illustrative world that also has a sense of the hyperreal. I love that sense of playing with perspective.”

Pigott worked from lyrics and Hackman’s initial concept but also added several ideas of his own, creating the painting while the album was being recorded. “The reason I chose Tristan is because I love his work, so I have to be very respectful of that. I don’t want to stand there and say, ‘do it this way’,” says Hackman. Hackman discussed the initial concept with Pigott and had a look at early sketches but didn’t see the final painting until it was complete.

“He worked out what would be best visually, whereas I was just thinking about everything we’d need to get on [the cover]. We got the layout together and spoke about colour concepts and things like that, but he very much led that side of it and always very much got it right in my mind.”

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Hackman’s next single Boyfriend is out on 31st March. AMF Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Ltd