Mike Marlin ‘The Magician’ Single

The bleak, poetic quality of Mike Marlin’s latest single – ‘The Magician’ – is simply enchanting. He maybe considered a newcomer to the singer-songwriter scene – he was picked out as one of HMV’s ‘Next Big Things’ this year – however, in reality, this Brit is a latecomer.

At 50, Mike Marlin is not a young chap, and having studied at Oxford (though never graduating), founded technology companies (yes, plural!), and had four kids with his wife, he’s had busy, full life. Despite this, he’s always played around with music, and his age and life thus far have provided him with some real, experiential meat when it comes to lyrical ideas.

The Magician’ starts off as a simple singer-songwriter ballad, with weepy strings, folk guitar-work and slow piano chords, not unlike Tom McCrae and/or Alexi Murdoch. The guitars, keys and the minimal drumbeat slowly build, and by the second half of the track Mike Marlin unleashes a more climatic, indie-rock ambition full of layered vocals and epic instrumentation – very reminiscent of the arena-bound antics of Elbow.

The general pace of the song is slow, and the general tone is somber. Marlin conveys the emotive, dark lyrical content and the groaning baritone of The National’s Matt Berninger – their style is very similar, but not too similar (even if one did think they are too similar, Marlin references The National as a key inspiration – so no harm, no foul). If Marlin’s upcoming album – ‘Man On The Ground’ – displays this kind of deepness and warmth then he could well be Britain’s answer to The National (and yes, I do think we need an answer).

Originally published by AAA Music here


~ by cliveparisrozario on October 12, 2011.

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