Folk, Reviews

I’m Not Your Man | Marika Hackman

An LGBT indie folk rock singer whose previous touring experience includes opening for Laura Marling? Marika Hackman’s resume is enticing, to say the least, as the combination is incredibly unexpected and I am thoroughly pleased to have the opportunity to dive in and see what she has to offer. Thankfully, her new album I’m Not Your Man, mostly succeeds in matching the expectations made simply by the premise. It’s a fun, incredibly witty expedition into the mindset of Hackman and her unconventional take on life.

Boyfriend” is a frustrating romp through patriarchy and the male gaze. Hackman’s seeing a girl who’s already seeing a man, but the man doesn’t mind because a lesbian relationship “doesn’t count.” At first, it seems that Hackman isn’t concerned about this, because she gets a chance to see the girl with impunity, but the relationship gets serious. It doesn’t matter since “no one takes us seriously just because I wear a dress.” The song intends to wind up the listener, which it should because the circumstance is so frustrating. It’s hard not to recommend for the perspective, alone.

Though it’s easy to focus solely on the lyrics, as their structure and play on words stand on their own. Hackman’s voice and guitar arrangements keep the songs glued to the head. She has a soft voice that drifts, and occasionally stings when she screams in “Good Intentions.” The guitar arrangements, when not strumming to a ballad, bounce to Hackman’s story. The album is very much a lighter version, musically and emotionally, of a Courtney Barnett album.

My Lover Cindy” is a joy to listen to. The guitar chords and light drumming builds a summer afternoon vibe. This all builds a structure for Hackman to talk about her love for a certain Cindy which is described with heavy emphasis on the carnal side. “Cause I’m a greedy pig, I’m gonna get my fill,” pretty much sums up Hackman’s intentions as she lusts after this woman, who she doesn’t know would stay with her for very long (“I can go for a couple of weeks and the feeling’s calcified”). It’s sexual by being critical of one’s own sexual intentions, and it works.

The lyrics and Hackman’s performance provides a perfect backdrop for every scenario. “Violet” is a droning and vividly descriptive love for someone’s mouth, which only really comes out as sexy for Hackman. “Time’s Been Reckless” is a jaunty song about lovers being unnecessarily honest about each other’s flaws in regards to, as the title implies, how age has detracted their looks. The disparity between the music and the lyrics is not always present, as some songs go for the familiar guitar strumming personal reflection. Those particular songs still have their twists.

Listening to this album is a treat for folk enthusiasts. It’s witty, jumpy, and very introspective. It’s not perfect, though. One of the main issues with the album is that it runs a little too long and the latter half gets bogged down by fatigue. It’s not that the songs are bad, but after a while, you realize there isn’t much more to figure out. Thus,  you’re sure to get everything you want out of it if you’re not into the whole album. Marika Hackman is a talented lyricist and some of her instrumentation is quite catchy and, for lack of a better term, really cool. Not every personal dissection needs to be depressing and it’s a treat to see Hackman go that direction. The guitar chords are really awesome, folks. GOOD.

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Stream Of Uncharted Monsters

Stream Of Uncharted Monsters: “Numb.” by Trevor James Tillery

sometimes we don’t get a chance to feature certain new music from rising and/or underground artists that we really like on the podcast City Of Monster Bunker. that’s why we’re now showcasing recently released music every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so you won’t ever miss some truly wicked tunage.

in this Stream Of Uncharted Monsters, we would like to bring forth “Numb.” by Trevor James Tillery.

check back often for more splendiferous samples of music. and listen to them all as we gather them up via Spotify.

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Broadcasts

City Of Monster Bunker #2

this is colorful monsters’ second and official bi-weekly podcast City Of Monster Bunker. we continue the adventures of the queer squad from Monster Bunker (original 16 episodes can be found wherever you get your podcasts). in a wasteland 3,000 years into the future, a trio of guys have awaken from their cryogenic sleep in search of music. they are completely oblivious to all releases and important cultural moments since the end of 2016. join them as they uncover worthy musical artifacts from 2017, and maybe you’ll dig them too. in this podcast, they discover “Sixteen” by Diet Cig, “22:41” by Danger, and “ieuD” by Igorrr.

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Stream Of Uncharted Monsters

Stream Of Uncharted Monsters: “Tokyo” by Wonderface

sometimes we don’t get a chance to feature certain new music from rising and/or underground artists that we really like on the podcast City Of Monster Bunker. that’s why we’re now showcasing recently released music every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so you won’t ever miss some truly wicked tunage.

in this Stream Of Uncharted Monsters, we would like to bring forth “Tokyo” by Wonderface.

check back often for more splendiferous samples of music. and listen to them all as we gather them up via Spotify.

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Reviews

Strange Words and Weird Wars | Marnie

Helen Marnie purposefully distanced herself from Ladytron with second album Strange Words and Weird Wars, more so than when she debuted her first solo record, Crystal World, in 2013. But it still remains a Ladytron-esque album even though the alternative nature is lost and the electronic pop presence is heightened. Her voice and synth-use is rather reminiscent, but are amped up in such a way that largely dismisses the comparison. There’s a thick layer of echo in her voice, as well as a flood of flowing synth throughout the album. Marnie’s abuse of self-distortion keeps her vocals from drowning underneath the heavy production; instead, it merely melts alongside it–acting like an additional synth property. Even though she has grown past the alternative phase, her intoxication with everything electronic disables each track from being distinctive.

A throbbing synthesizer and urgent vocals in “Alphabet Block” set the 10 track album off on a lavish electronic 80’s dreamscape. Segments of lyrics sound random next to each other; and while we could sit here and try to find the meaning, it really doesn’t matter. It’s the voice and production that carries the punch to propel you to finish the rest of the album. It’s also fun, a feeling you’ll catch quite a bit, especially when it comes to “G.I.R.L.S.

The third track starts a pattern that may not have been intended. “G.I.R.L.S.” revolves around a girl, or possibly herself, and the obsession that comes with it. It’s a cheer for girl power, and the captivation it holds over everyone. With a similar stand, though not as fun, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” takes a haunting view about a girl who’s about to reach “the last day of her life.” Though it might just be as simple as that heartbreaking truth, which in itself is enough to fill your eyes with tears, it also comes off as a cry out for independence. Because even if something might happen, the girl doesn’t need anyone to save her (“I’ll keep the path and take my chance”). “Lost Maps,” which regains the momentum set by the tracks previous to “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” with a production in the vein of Röyksopp, advises a girl, or again herself, to not “believe what they tell you” even when “darkness closes on you.” These three tracks, though incredibly different from one another in terms of tone, conveys the same individualistic spirit, or ode to girls.

Another stand out, “Electric Youth” embeds itself in the middle of the whole girl power line of thought with a throwback to the good ol’ days. It plays up the real purpose of Strange Words and Weird Wars which is to repress worries and figure fun as the only prospect. It plays up the whole nostalgic effect every track seems to have even when they’re not directly recalling the past.

Marnie thrives within a CHVRCHΞS-like atmosphere where electronic ambiance lends most of itself to pop; however, she also carries the same problem that semi-plagues the Scottish band as well–every track sounds the same. Yes there are certain obvious differences. But the overwhelming sonic production and its consistent presence leaves a longing for diversity, something she achieved in her earlier work as a solo artist and as part of Ladytron. And there’s also this feeling like ‘I’ve heard it before’ rushing through the album. Strange Words and Weird Wars has many throwbacks to childhood and sound to back up why; despite that, there’s still a pretty low standard for originality with the subconscious utilization of familiar melodies. OK.

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Stream Of Uncharted Monsters

Stream Of Uncharted Monsters: “Nobody Cares” by Superorganism

sometimes we don’t get a chance to feature certain new music from rising and/or underground artists that we really like on the podcast City Of Monster Bunker. that’s why we’re now showcasing recently released music every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so you won’t ever miss some truly wicked tunage.

in this Stream Of Uncharted Monsters, we would like to bring forth “Nobody Cares” by Superorganism.

check back often for more splendiferous samples of music. and listen to them all as we gather them up via Spotify.

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QUEEK

#QUEEK: Dazey And The Scouts

every Tuesday, we’ll be featuring a queer musician, artist, band, or producer who has made an impact with their newest work.

our Queer Of The Week, or QUEEK, is Dazey And The Scouts with their album Maggot.

released earlier this year, Maggot is the band’s debut album and features 7 tracks with Austin Corona on drums, Lea Jaffe on vocals and guitar, Otto Klammer on vocals and bass, and Brennan Wedl on vocals and guitar. Maggot is queercore at its funniest. there’s angst, but never without a sense of humor especially when engaging in a little rage and not-so-subtle sexual teasing.

highlights: “Groan,” “Wet,” “James Dean You Let Us Down”

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