Marika Hackman + Howard James Kenny LIVE @ The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham 13/11/2014

Known for her dark slant on indie-folk, Marika Hackman lulls you into a false sense of security.

‘I haven’t done this for a while’ utters opener Howard James Kenny.  Only with a guitar and loop pedal, Kenny brings soft strums complemented with delicate vocals that have an ever so slightly haunting edge.

Deep Green introduces Hackman’s set filled with angst where her tales of knives and blood go unnoticed behind the Nico-like vocals layered with deceptively upbeat rhythms. Though she jokes around with the audience between songs, it doesn’t intrude the solemn tone left from the melancholic broodiness.

Left unaided for Retina Television, Hackman never elaborates too much but her poetic lyrics dwell on leaving the crowd entranced. Mixing older tracks with new material from her debut We Slept At Last, it’s easy to see how far she’s come with even darker imagery in her lullabies. Although a cover Joanna Newsom’s 81 may seem chancy, Hackman does it more than justice with the same otherworldly approach as in her own material making it seem like one of her own.

Marika Hackman brings more than just folk with her personal approach stripping it back to reveal something more gothic and haunting. If her debut sounds as good as it does live, then there’s a lot to look forward to.

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