- February 26, 2013
New singer songwriter talks to Jeff Hemmings
Former Brighton resident Marika Hackman is
just about to release a mini-album, That Iron Taste, a work that channels the spirit of the late ’60s, the psychedelic whimsy of Nico for instance, into an altogether darker sound.
My stuff is folk at the core, almost medieval folk in a sense, but a bit more dark and moody and abstract,” says the 20 year old who has just finished a tour with Ethan Folks and about to embark on her first headline tour. “My writing process is pretty boring. I sit in my room and play my guitar for hours, and something will click perfectly and that’s the beginning of a song. Then I play it over and over again to get the measure of it before recording a demo on GarageBand where I experiment with harmonies and arrangement, before working with a producer.”
A fan of old school rock and pop such as Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin and Steely Dam, she’s also been immersing herself in the sounds of Alt-J as well as current folk hero Johnny Flynn. “I had a double A-side last year called ‘You Come Down/Mountain Spines’, which was produced by Johnny Flynn. Both those tracks will be on the mini-album. He was interested in doing this; he produces a lot of his own stuff with his bassist, Adam.”
An untrained musician, she has nevertheless managed to develop a style all her own: “I’ve been writing songs for a long time; I used to play piano and write songs on that when I was 7 or 8. I started teaching myself guitar when I was about 12, and I knew that if I taught myself I would make the effort, rather than somebody telling me, and then I wouldn’t make the effort!”
She has, rather inventively, described her sound as: “Folk at the inner core, Kurt Cobain for the outer core, whimsical dark madness for the mantle, and Marika Hackman for the crust”.
Hackman, whose dad is Finnish, is well acquainted with Brighton. “I lived here for a year when I did an art foundation, and am planning on moving back… but I’m now living in Devon where my parents live. It’s way cheaper like that, especially when you are on tour all the time. But I love Brighton, it’s an awesome place to live.”
Things have been developing fast for the singer songwriter, her years of grafting away on her own, learning to play and sing and writing songs, starting to pay off. “We had big concerts at school which is where I first started to perform. But when I left school I kinda waited… it sounds a bit weird… I would get the odd offer to do a gig; then I met my manager and its been non-stop the last year and a half.”