My Favorite Album: Marika Hackman on Warpaint’s “The Fool” | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024  

My Favorite Album: Marika Hackman on Warpaint’s “The Fool”

"I remember when 'Undertow' came out and I used to have to get the train regularly and I think I listened to it 35 times on one journey."

Feb 05, 2020 Issue #66 - My Favorite Album - Angel Olsen and Sleater-Kinney Bookmark and Share

I was 18 or 19 and I had been listening to Warpaint’s Exquisite Corpse EP relentlessly. I was studying down in Brighton and I remember when “Undertow” came out and I used to have to get the train regularly and I think I listened to it 35 times on one journey. The album hadn’t come out at this point and I was so hungry for it.

“Undertow” was the one that led me in, but “Composure” is one of my favorites. That bit when the drumbeat comes in, having been really slow half-time, so when it comes in with that awesome groove and completely changes the tone of the song, that’s a big moment for me.

I completely fell in love with the record. I got to see them play it live at Digital in Brighton, which was amazing, at such a small venue, up close and personal. It’s got this real mix of being tight and well put together with advanced and complex parts but with this moody, lackadaisical vocal style and guitar washes that make it feel really relaxed and like a jam session. But it’s not, it’s really clever and underpinned by this really strong and rhythmic structure.

That’s when I was just starting out on my career and writing songs predominantly on acoustic guitar, not really knowing how to take it to the next level, and that record and that band were a huge inspiration as to what the future could potentially hold. It was hearing the relaxed and stripped back vocal against something heavier, hearing that work so well, I thought I really wanted to do that.

I slightly embarrassed myself two years ago at All Points East. I was quite well-oiled by this point and I went up to Theresa [Wayman, guitars/vocals for Warpaint] and went to her, “you’re such a wonderful and fabulous human,” and I said it about three times, and she was really sweet and said, “oh, you are too!” and gave me a hug. I was dying of embarrassment afterwards. Why couldn’t I say anything normal and be cool! It’s the sort of fangirl moment that I didn’t think I had in me, but clearly I do.

Because of where it landed in my life, it was the first time I’d moved away from home, I was out of the countryside, living in the city, away from my parents, finding out who I was and studying art. It was really a big change in my life and this record is the soundtrack to all of that and it holds a real soft spot in my heart.

(Marika Hackman is a singer/songwriter from Hampshire, England, now based in London, who has released three studio albums, most recently Any Human Friend, released this year on Sub Pop. Portions of Marika Hackman’s conversation have been abridged and edited for structure and flow.)

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 66 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, which is out now. This is its debut online. For the issue we interviewed musicians and actors about their all-time favorite album.]

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