Marika Hackman’s debut album, We Slept At Last was already on our ‘can’t wait – must hear’ list for 2015 and with every new snippet she releases, our anticipation just grows further. Having already released three superb and critically adored EPs, you’d think we would have already heard just about everything that is going to be on the album, except that none of the 13 tracks on those EPs will feature. It’s going to be all new material and if it is all as good as new tracks “Before I Sleep” and the previously unveiled “Drown” and “Animal Fear”, it looks like our expectations will be exceeded.
Her arrangements, along with her vocals, are exquisite and “Before I Sleep” is no exception. It’s soft and subdued but builds gradually, almost imperceptibly before a piercing, but enticing synthy, whistle brings it to a close. It’s like unknowingly wandering off the path in a dark forest, coming to a clearing and catching a fleeting glimpse of otherworldly magic taking place before it vanishes, leaving just the darkness around you and a sense of amazement and wonder in your heart.
It’s slightly off-kilter, slightly unusual and unnerving but entirely, wholly beautiful.