Marika Hackman: Any Human Friend (Sub Pop) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, October 17th, 2019  

Marika Hackman

Any Human Friend

Sub Pop

Aug 09, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Marika Hackman describes how she stopped being able to sleep properly over the 12 months that she wrote Any Human Friend across, and would wake up in the middle of the night needing to write. It's not hard to believe; the London-based musician's third LP is loaded with songs that feel as though they demanded to be written.

You get the sense that they demanded to be written at various emotional states, too: the synth-driven "send my love" is heavy-hearted ("if you loved me tonight/you'd get the fuck out of my sight") whereas "come undone" rides a kind of invincible indifference that feels a million miles away. Hackman says that "the one" was written amidst a breakup-induced identity crisis, but you get the sense that the same could be said about the album as a whole. The record refuses to settle on a perspective or an atmospherebeing led at times by Comedown Machine-ish synths and at others by direct and grunge-y riffs. Lyrically, Hackman's positioning of herself is ever-changing. Impressively, though, the record's ever changing perspective and atmosphere never feels jarring.

Consistently at the forefront of Any Human Friend, though, is an effort to sing about sexuality in a way that brings it out of the male gaze. From the decidedly sleazy "all night" to the frankly geniously named "hand solo," Hackman writes songs about queer female sexuality with a boldness that shouldn't feel deviant.

In the record's promotional materials, Hackman questions why songs about women having sex with other women should shock people, and you get the sense that this is something that she wants people to come away from her record thinking about.

Any Human Friend is Hackman's most attention-demanding work to date, and positions her as one of the most refreshing voices in British music right now. (www.marikahackman.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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