REVIEW: Marika Hackman Louisiana 8/10 by Mark Taylor
THIS was the second Bristol appearance in less than a month for Devon-based Marika Hackman, one of the most talked about new artists on the British indie-folk scene.
Hackman appeared solo with only acoustic and electric guitars for accompaniment. With her unruly blonde hair, baggy T-shirt and skinny jeans she may cut a slightly awkward and shy figure on stage but her looks have already resulted in her becoming a face of fashion label Burberry.
Throughout the 10-song set, she rarely looked up apart from when she was explaining why she doesn't smile during songs. "With these lyrics, I would look a bit deranged if I smiled and danced around," she quipped. Most of the lyrics are at the darker end of the spectrum and there is an ethereal, haunted quality to her soft, melancholic voice.
Although Hackman lists Laura Viers and Joanna Newsom as influences, there are also hints of Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny and even early Suzanne Vega in the folksy psychedelia of You Come Down, the chilling Mountain Spines and the beautifully poetic Bath is Black.
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With an innocence and fragility at odds with the darkness of her songs, Hackman is a unique talent.