Rock provocateur Marika Hackman releases her highly anticipated new album Any Human Friend via AMF Records and on Sub Pop in North and South America. Any Human Friend has been co-produced by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, Let’s Eat Grandma) and Marika herself, and shows off a sharper and more liberated sound than ever before.
‘hand solo’, ‘blow’, ‘conventional ride’—these are just a few of the brazen, bold offerings from Any Human Friend. “This whole record is me diving into myself and peeling back the skin further and further, exposing myself in quite a big way. It can be quite sexual,” Marika says. “It’s blunt, but not offensive. It’s mischievous.” Any Human Friend is ultimately about how, as Marika puts it, “We all have this lightness and darkness in us.”
Marika is a Rid of Me-era PJ Harvey for the inclusive generation: unbounded by musical genre, a preternatural lyricist and tunesmith who isn’t afraid to go there. (Even her cover art, which finds Hackman nearly nude while cradling a baby pig, is a nod to Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra’s unfiltered photos of mothers just after they gave birth). To that end, ‘hand solo’ extorts the virtues of masturbation and features Marika’s favorite line, “Under patriarchal law, I’m going to die a virgin.” The song ‘blow’ paints a picture of social excess. And ‘conventional ride’ deals with the classic trope of a ‘straight’ girl who just wants to experiment but doesn’t present it in that way.
The process of writing Any Human Friend was an incredibly difficult one: Marika stopped being able to sleep properly, waking up in the middle of the night to write songs - but as the best songwriters do, she strengthened her own voice through the process, exploring herself and emerging with a widescreen, heavy-hitting and sexy record.
The longer recording process meant that Marika had the time to experiment in the studio, especially with electronic songs. She deployed synthesisers that recall the off-kilter, oddball hits of OMD or New Order, and places them at the heart of the album. For all the urgency of the backing music, Marika’s natural delivery and sensuous tone offers a dreamlike quality to the proceedings and allows her to loo.