Calling it as my album of the year. Actually meant to write this in February, but I’m just too slow in getting around to it. I know there are good albums yet to come (Nia Archives and Dead Pony are just two), but Big Sigh is superb, plus I wasn’t anticipating it at all - I was expecting and looking forward to New Dad’s and Sprints’, and although both are good, neither gave me the same feeling as Marika Hackman’s; And it’s all based on feelings.

  • The Ground: It’s a bit of an odd opener, as doesn’t sound like her vocals at all, but it does start the journey.
  • No Caffeine: Just beautiful. I love the layering of piano, vocals, strings, bass and then drums and how it builds.
  • Big Sigh: God loves a trier. Indeed. It doesn’t so much build as crashes in with the chorus from a gentle verse.
  • Blood: She does good things with vocals, bass and choruses.
  • Hanging: Something in this actually gives me really strong vibes of Cracks from Freestylers / Belle Humble. It’s very melancholic. Until the end.
  • The Lonely House: The piano intro reminds me of Mia and Sebastian’s theme from La La Land. And this is also an instrumental. But ends up sadder.
  • Vitamins: Feels like it could be the last track, but actually it’s just a trick before hitting…
  • Slime: Is just sublime.
  • Please Don’t Be So Kind: Ethereal.
  • The Yellow Mile: A gentle finish.

No Caffeine, Big Sigh and Slime are the obvious favourites, but there is nothing I don’t like here. I’d say it’s not necessarily that morose either; last year I didn’t want to pick boygenius’ the record because I didn’t want something sad; I was wondering if I should wait for something more positive than Big Sigh, but no, it feels balanced to me.

2024 is proving a fantastic year for music.