- 20 Aug 19
Life hacks - Marika strives for connection.
Whatever happened to Marika Hackman, the folksy ingenue who showcased a likable and non-threatening collection of folk songs with her 2015 debut We Slept at Last? Lord knows, but somewhere between that release and the 2017 follow-up I’m Not Your Man, she transformed into a biting, snarling force of nature who demanded to be taken seriously.
Hackman returns with Any Human Friend, an album with scarcely a bum note, a two-fingers to archaic societal notions of traditional (read heterosexual, subservient) relationships. A casual listen reveals catchy songs with confident hooks and choruses, but repeat visits reveal layers of self-love and self-loathing, of confidence and isolation, of sex and desire.
On ‘All Night’ Hackman regales us with the joys of good and bad cunnilingus – sample couplet: “We go down on one another/ you’re my favourite kind of lover” – while ‘Hand Solo’ does exactly what it says on the tin; a eulogy to masturbation and the alone time that goes with it: “I gave it all/ But under patriarchal law/ I’m gonna die a virgin”, lyrics such as this taking a not-so-subtle dig at the aforementioned outdated attitudes towards how we view sex – especially sex between two women.
The beauty of this album is that none of it is played for horrified gasps. The lyrics may take you aback at first (“My finger touch/ I’ve been feeling stuff/ Dark meat/ Skin pleat/ I’m working”), but in the context of the songs built around them, it sits perfectly as a self-effacing take on society and human connection. Hackman’s time has most definitely come – no pun intended.