Review by Gilan

Do you need something soft to gently feel your blues to? Look no further, ‘Any Human Friend’ by Marika Hackman is here!

Marika Hackman is an English singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her style can be described as a cross between dream pop and folktronica. Any Human friend is her third Album and she has described it as ‘quite sexual’ and ‘blunt but not offensive’. Let’s dive in!

The album has an excellent flow to it, and a great balance of softer and harder/more pumped up tracks. Rather than direct tragedy the tracks seem to dance somewhere between that glimmer of hope and that numb ‘post depression’ state.

The lyrics aren’t particularly vague but musically there is such an excellent arrangement, subtly experimental at times, that the tracks still have that dreamlike quality.

Firstly I would like to visit the opening and closing tracks, ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘Any Human Friend’ together. They are both softer numbers, wanderlust an acoustic number with soft folky vocals and any human friend a spaced out electronica number. The first definitely sets the tone, a timeless heartache whereas the last song sounds like there could be a glimmer of hope alluded to. This dichotomy feels like the running theme.

‘Where You Are’ – this dream pop/electronica track is definitely my personal favourite. The track follows two people who are no longer on the same page because of insecurities and a hint of self-loathing – perhaps from both sides. I find it the most relatable and I think it conveys that lovesick feeling for the other person, that feeling of distress about being away from them so well, whether it be physical or emotional distance.

‘Conventional’ – this track definitely sticks out on the album as it doesn’t sound like the rest. It has a bit of a harsher edge to it both melodically and emotionally, with elements of anxiousness and a dose of resentment. Some elements of it almost sound psychedelic!

‘Hold on’ – this almost “chill step” track is getting a mention for one main reason – it has such a delicious string arrangement that I implore you to go and listen to it right now!

Overall, this album has taken me on a beautifully melancholic ride and I am so glad. Marika Hackman is explicitly candid throughout and aside from the highs and the lows swinging so beautifully, I love it when a woman sings about her sexuality so honestly with occasional jabs at the patriarchy.

Listening recommendation: lay back and let this album help you work your way through some sorrow.

Where to find her? youtube facebook instagram bandcamp