Marika Hackman’s debut full length, We Slept At Last, is beautiful and haunting and, on first listen, a subtle folk rock album. When looking for an artist to compare Hackman, Laura Marling will come to mind, which is fitting since they are reportedly friends, but you also can hear the same lush dynamics that made Luluc’s phenomenal 2014 album, Passerby, so appealing.

After peeling back the layers from repeat listening, you hear this soft, hushed, dark music that is not as subtle as first listen. Charlie Andrew, who worked with Alt-J on both their albums, helped produce and reportedly encouraged diversity from track to track. When the lyrics are delivered in such quiet whispering tones, it can be hard not have a feeling of sameness from track to track. Andrew and Marika, however, succeed and even though the delivery does not always change dramatically each song is unique while holding a a cohesive theme to make a seamless album.

Beyond the acoustic guitar and fantastic voice, there are layers of electronic music and unique instrumentations that add depth and some very subtle warmth to music. The warmth is welcome because this is dark, wintery, isolated folk. The excellent track “Drown” is perfect track for cold snowy day – hauntingly dark while being pleasantly soulful. In contrast, “Animal Fear” is a more explosive track with even more instrumentation filling it out. If “Drown” sounds like Winter, this one at least feels like the start of Fall. The composition includes the very unique use of what sounds like a gun fire ricochet. This song feels like the anchor for the album, holding the quieter moments together.

We Slept At Last is a wonderful debut LP from a young and talented artist.  Marika’s star will only grow, and she’ll continue to perfect her craft over time. This beautiful album feels like that start of an artist that promises to entertain for a long time to come.

We Slept At Last is available now at the artist store and iTunes

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Twitter – @MarikaHackman

Facebook – Marika Hackman

Marika Hackman

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