Marika Hackman

Big Sigh

Chrysalis • 2024

Pigeonhole thinking in the world of music is a cliché in more ways than one: First, you have the press who try to put artists in them, supposedly in order to make it easier to classify their work. And secondly, the artists’ music is so much more complex and multifaceted, their artistic development so adventurous and genre-bending, that none of them really wants to be pigeonholed. This flight from easy categorisation has characterised Marika Hackman’s career so far. Initially described as a folk singer, she promptly turned to pop, only to discover good old-fashioned alternative rock for her next work, ending up with a rather experimental cover album. This time, however, she doesn’t seem to want to reinvent herself. »Big Sigh« combines sensitive folk with bombastic strings (»Hanging«) and atmospheric, piano-based instrumentals (»The Lonely House«) that are just as much at home on this album as pop numbers with crashing guitars (»No Caffeine«). Finally, with a big sigh, she seems to push all the categorisations far away from her and appears to just wants to share her new songs with the world—and that’s a good thing!