Ahead of her show at Rough Trade later this week, AIMEE LINDLEY spoke to Marika Hackman about her new album, new sound and new band.
“Boyfriend” was the first track off Hackman’s new album to be released, and it came to many fans as a pleasant surprise. Produced by Charlie Andrew, the same man responsible for her previous album and EPs, her new music couldn’t sound any more different. “I was always going to shake it up and do something different with this record, I’m planning on making quite a few so it was the first step to really say “I’m gonna have a new sound…..if it ruins my career god knows what I’m gonna do next” From my experience over the last few years of doing music I really enjoy making the heavier ones and I enjoy performing those ones so I think that kind of fed into it too.” When asked about pre-release nerves, Hackman seemed as confident as ever. “I would say I was mostly intrigued to see how [Boyfriend] was gonna go down but I also knew that I would strike a cord with a lot of people. I think that was probably a really good thing so I was more excited than anything. The response has been amazing for it and and that feeling has been really rewarding, its had the biggest reaction to anything I’ve put out before which is a really nice feeling”
The follow up single to ‘Boyfriend’ was ‘My Lover Cindy’ and our interview with Marika came a mere few hours after the release of the intriguing and cleverly thought out video. “I think its one that I struggled to have a really strong idea for. Normally I come up with all the ideas for my videos so I thought this time we would pitch it out to some directors and see if they come back with any ideas. [The director] came back with this really interesting concept which had this idea of this fencing match and the struggle with a lateral kind of element and then these crazy animated mouths at the end kind of unleashing their desires, which I thought was just genius through and through so we went with that and it was a really really enjoyable experience from start to finish. I’m really glad we got it to work with the really strange ideas.”
Linking in with the new sound, we shifted onto the intricate thoughts and ideas surrounding the inspiration behind the album artwork. “It was a conversation which I had with Tristan [Piggot], the artist. I really like artwork that you don’t just look at once, you look back at it and find something new that’s kind of hinting at things so we had a conversation about that and we decided on all these objects, I sent him over the lyrics and we decided on these different little references we could put in it and stuff and we used a lot of his own artwork as well. There’s a lot of feminine and masculine symbolism, it’s a very strong female record. I hope that people really do sit down and take it all in, there’s the Big Moon girls on there as well, there’s photos of Charlie the producer on the table and there’s a photo of my friend Gina from the track ‘Gina’s World’ so its included everyone that was involved in the making of the album”
Several of the new tracks on the album feature indie rock girl band The Big Moon. “I think they are phenomenal musicians, we actually all met anyway because I went to gig of theirs and they play really really well. Their energy when they’re playing live is completely amazing and they’re really infectious so by the time I was thinking about who I was gonna have playing on the record or if I should just hire an in session band or how we were gonna do it, by that time I was already really good friends with them, so it felt like a really natural thing. I asked them if they wanted to do it and it was so terrifying but they said yes, it kind of felt like asking someone to marry you! It was so nerve-wracking but they said yes. They’ve played on eight tracks off the record, it was just so much fun, we just had a laugh really.
And finally we spoke about what gig-goers can expect from her show at Rough Trade this weekend. “Its gonna be focusing on the new stuff and we’re gonna play a few older songs but they have been reworked to fit with the new set. We’ve taken a few of the old ones like Ophelia and reworked those to make it gel so it’s a nice cohesive set. I know what its like going to a gig expecting your old favourites and having just all new material so I want to make people happy. I’m just intrigued and excited, I’ve been sitting on it a while so that week is gonna be really really fun, it’ll be the first time playing shows where everyone’s actually hopefully listened to the whole thing and I’m really excited to come back to Rough Trade. I did a promo show there when I released my last record so its gonna be fun to be coming back and playing with a live band.”
Marika Hackman’s new album ‘I’m Not Your Man’ is out this Friday [June 2nd] on AMF Records and fans can catch her at Rough Trade on Saturday.
By Aimee Lindley