THE HAUNTING MELODIES OF MARIKA HACKMAN

In a business increasingly occupied by corporate sellouts and pop singer drones, 24-year-old singer-songwriter Marika Hackman is a melancholic folk heroine. Save us from Auto-tune! Originally from Hampshire, England, she became interested in folk music from an early age, eventually growing in the English folk and nu-folk music scenes. In turn, she received a scholarship to the liberal arts-oriented Bedales School. It was here that she formed her first band, albeit short-lived, along with her classmate (and now famous supermodel) Cara Delevingne.

Nowadays, Hackman’s indie-folk music has taken off with a blue-eyed vengeance which materialized in her debut album We Slept At Last in February of 2015. However, in an interview with AMBY, her music was self-described as “grunge folk” – which to me seems rather fitting. Not only is the term “grunge folk” pretty rad, but the notion of grunge-ness is especially evocative in her lyrics. Hackman is a modern day Sylvia Plath with a beat-up guitar and a penchant for “graveyard poetry” as her lyrics are enchantingly beautiful in both prose and imagery.  

I feel no pain/The blood is frozen in my veins/And although you were here in the morning/My skin was cold before you came

-“Monday Afternoon”

Similarly, she utilizes this conceptuality more aptly with visuals in her music video for “Drown.”

In a way, the soundscapes play out as a film noir themselves – not only through the lyrics, but throughout the Lynchian-esque sound quality to her musical style. Although morbid and dark, there is also a strange, upbeat attribute to it – life may be bleak, but there is beauty to be found in her alienation. Furthermore, Hackman’s album seems to be very cathartic in a way that is self-expressive, conveying the sort of mid-20’s ennui any debut album very well should. “…make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.” (Plath)

So next time it’s raining, consider taking a personal day and staying home curled up in your bed (preferably on a Monday Afternoon) with a glass of vino and the haunting voice of Marika Hackman rising up like smoke from your speakers and consider the beauty in each raindrop falling against the windowpane – I have a feeling that’s what she would do.