Listen/Review: MARINE – EP1

MARINE’s debut EP is a work that seamlessly juxtaposes intimate and epic soundscapes. This four-piece, comprising Ruby Jack, Cara Sebastian, Kaja Magsam and Beth Dariti, have been touring independently in Germany and England, packed into a small car with their CDs to sell. This determination and focus is felt in this release. The band have recorded four intricately crafted tracks with instrumental and vocal explorations on personal themes. The guitar is clean and reverby throughout, with melancholy arpeggiated patterns. The rhythm section steers the listener through quiet moments of alienation, crescendoing with tribal drums to mammoth proportions in the choruses. Three of the tracks are in 3/4 or 6/8 time signatures, and they conjure visions of a bizarre medieval waltz, demonstrating a brief glimmer of the band’s folk roots. In the foreground are the remarkable voices of Ruby and Cara. Displaying differing timbres, their vocal lines melt together in a glorious combination. One has a warmer quality and sings the lines pretty straight-up. The other has a slightly more piercing tone, with the warbly vocal inflections that are massive for our generation – a style pioneered by the likes of PJ Harvey or Antony and the Johnsons. Their atypical harmonies interweave like threads in a tapestry, exploring the dark moods with dreamy tones against a stark instrumental background, and soaring over the grand choruses. Producing single-worded, abstractly titled songs – ‘Kraken’ (listen below), ‘Selkie', ‘Anima’ and ‘Werewolf’ – the band fit the zeitgeist of technological detachment and social disillusionment, expressed elsewhere by Alt-J, The xx and London Grammar. Right down to the logo on their website, featuring that bleak Wes Anderson font that is used by so many of their contemporaries, MARINE are a band unafraid to engage in the trending topics of 2015.

EP1 is launched tonight (25 February) at The Macbeth, Hoxton, London.
Words by Charlie Hannah. Read more by Charlie at The Dentist