We’ve fallen in love with Marika Hackman’s gothic world. The young singer is set to release her first single You Come Down, an enchanting ballad of medieval melody and lyrics dark as blood. Produced by fellow folk musician Johnny Flynn, and signed to new Transgressive records imprint ParadYse, You Come Down is a far cry from the chirpy sing-a-longs peddled by the likes of Mumford- more likely to soundtrack a death scene in Game of Thrones than a lastminute.com advert… We fired over some questions to Marika to find out just what makes her tick…
When did you start playing? The songs sound very mature…
I started to teach myself guitar when I was about 12, I had learnt the piano before then though, so I had been playing around with writing for a while.. I started taking it all a lot more seriously when I was around 15, although I wouldn't recommend anyone listening to the songs I wrote then..
Are there plans for an album or tour now the single’s come out?
I am supporting Benjamin Francis Leftwich on his UK tour in October, it's going to be incredible, we're on a tour bus and everything! I'm planning to have an album ready for next summer hopefully.
“...sickly sweet of my rotting skin” is a pretty dark line, in a pretty dark song- where does the inspiration come from ?
I honestly have no idea. I think there must be a small section of my brain that holds all of these nasty things and they only get released when I'm writing. maybe it's something to do with being stuck in the countryside for long periods of time.
In fact all the songs we've heard are fairly dark. Should we be terrified of your imagination?
hahaha I think we should be more scared if I stop getting it out via song and start trying new forms of dark expression.
Do you have any artists that you'd love to collaborate with?
Johnny Flynn was very high on my list and I've already had the wonderful experience of working with him. I would also love to do something with Warpaint, Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes. or Laura Veirs. Or Chan Marshall. Or Electrelane, this could go on all day...
We see you were over in America recently, how was it? Did you get to play any gigs? We imagine they were very taken with your particular Englishness..!
I was out there doing a gig for Burberry so I got to do some playing, it was quite a noisy venue though so quite a tricky gig. I also got told that my accent wasn't very English which I was very upset about.
And finally, we think there's a great cinematic quality to your music- is there any film you would have loved to have written a soundtrack for?
Lord of the Rings! except its more that I actually wish I had written the soundtrack which it's already got hahaha!
Marika is launching You Come Down with a show at Dalston's Servant Jazz Quarters, but by the time of writing that has long sold out-- instead you can catch her on tour with Benjamin Francis Leftwich at one of the following dates
1st: BRIGHTON, Concorde 2
2nd: BOURNEMOUTH, Old Fire Station
3rd: EXETER, The Phoenix
4th: FALMOUTH, Princess Pavillion
5th: SWANSEA, Sin City
6th: BRISTOL, O2 Academy
8th: OXFORD, Town Hall
9th: NEWCASTLE, Northumbria University
10th: EDINBURGH, Pleasance Theatre
11th: ABERDEEN, Lemon Tree
12th: INVERNESS, Ironworks
13th: GLASGOW, Oran Mor
15th: LEEDS, City Varieties
16th: SHEFFIELD, Plug
17th: BIRMINGHAM, Irish Centre
18th: CAMBRIDGE, Junction
19th: NORWICH, Waterfront
20th: NOTTINGHAM, Rescue Rooms
22nd: CARLISLE, Brickyard
23rd: LIVERPOOL, University (Stanley Theatre)
24th: LONDON, KOKO
25th: MANCHESTER, HMV Ritz
26th: STOKE, Sugarmill
27th: YORK, Duchess
29th: WREXHAM, Central Station
31st: GALWAY, Roisin Dubh (upstairs)
1st: CORK, Cyprus Avenue
2nd: BELFAST, Oh Yeah Music Centre/Limelight (two venues)
3rd: DUBLIN, Whelan’s