Marika Hackman - 'Big Sigh'

8/10

Throughout her initial years, Marika Hackman stood as one of the more enigmatic presences on the new music scene. Always searching for the next embracing phase within her sound, she quickly turned out three highly-praised studio albums across a four-year period, that was until the pandemic hit and the momentum behind her seemed to fall away rather suddenly. But now returning five years after her third LP 'Any Human Friend', she delivers her wondrous new full-length 'Big Sigh', a record that looks to reflect back on her direction to date.

The inspiration behind 'Big Sigh' was said to be her turning 30 in 2022, a personal shift in her identity that left her exploring the life she had led until then and where she should take it next. As a result, this new release sits as one of Hackman's more contemplative and introspective offerings yet. Venturing down a more adventurous path than before, she creates this beautifully immersive collection that feels both familiar yet distinctive within her repertoire so far.

While the gap between this and her previous work is certainly stark, 'Big Sigh' feels more like an evolution of her sound rather than a return to old habits. She has rebuilt her place on the circuit as someone far more confident and expressive within her songwriting, and continues that vibrant aesthetic we all love her for.

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