[VIDEO PREMIERE + Album Stream] Marika Hackman - Before I Sleep (Acoustic)
She’s gone from touring with Alt-J to collaborating with their acclaimed producer, Charlie Andrew. From opening for Laura Marling to featuring/devouring her in the music video for ‘Animal Fear’. She’s close friends with folk artist Johnny Flynn as well as Sivu. With all of these big name connections and collaborations, there’s no denying Marika Hackman’s rising status in the realm of dark-folk.
Having just released her highly anticipated debut album We Slept At Last through Dirty Hit Records, it seems as if the only place she has to go is up, up, up. The album is an eclectic mix of styles and instrumentation, no doubt inspired and encouraged by Charlie Andrew. It easily sways from upbeat, tropical drum rhythms (‘Animal Fear’) to ghostly spaces of silence (‘Undone, Undress’) and wraps it all up with her signature fingerpicking style (‘Let Me In’). Amidst the variance, Marika’s voice provides the album with a sturdy base: it’s deeply serene, funereal, and vernal – all at once.
Which is why we find it all-the-more lovely to get intimate with a stripped-back rooftop session of the album’s second track, ‘Before I Sleep’. While the mastered album is in many cases broad and cinematic, this acoustic rendition returns to the roots of Marika’s style: calmly propulsive fingerpicking against a voice that’s pleasantly nonchalant yet packed with emotional power.