Marika Hackman – I'm Not Your Man
On her debut record, 2015’s We Slept At Last, Marika Hackman emerged as a moody folk songwriter characterised by her literate lyrics and acoustic arrangements. Supported this time around by friends The Big Moon, the London-based singer-songwriter throws off the folk garb on her second record I’m Not Your Man, serving up a more jagged, rockier offering that unflinchingly explores the brutality of relationships.
Opener Boyfriend epitomises Hackman’s new self-confidence and directness, an infectious kiss-off in which Hackman revels in seducing some bro’s girlfriend, punctuated by mischievous laughs and high-pitched yelps. This assurance permeates I’m Not Your Man, from the bratty garage rock of Time’s Been Reckless to the sunny jangle pop of My Lover Cindy which turns a chorus of ‘I’m a fucking pig / I’m going to get my fill’ into a gorgeous, emotionally layered coo.
Even Hackman’s former self has added barb here: the lingering Violet describes a sexual encounter with barely concealed aggression, while the solo acoustic picking of Cigarette shows the sorrowful aftermath. I’m Not Your Man hits hardest with its final one-two punch though, as Blahblahblah’s languid Warpaint-ish grooves are followed by the heart-breaking closer I’d Rather Be With Them, in which the face-saving bravado of the previous twelve tracks becomes clear.
Not abandoning her folk roots entirely, I’m Not Your Man proves an emotional and sonic progression for Hackman, a record that at its best is affecting and fun. It shows her to be an artist growing in her stride, increasing her capacity to be more artful and at once more true.
Listen to: Boyfriend, My Lover Cindy, Time’s Been Reckless