Self Released – 9th June
23 year old North London nu-soul singer Marin first garnered attention in 2015 when she put out an unofficial bootleg of Zomby’s 2011 instrumental ‘Witch Hunt’. This was followed by her debut single, ‘Day 42’, in which hazy and uncluttered electronica allows her languid, rich vocals to shine.
A talented vocalist whose tone is reminiscent of Katy B, Jessie Ware and Jillian Hervey of Lion Babe, two years on and Marin has now self-released her debut EP, Only Echoes. A four track effort inspired by an exploration into her own battles with mental health, Only Echoes is a melancholic, sincere and sultry piece of work built for contemplative evenings.
Of the release, Marin says: “The whole EP is about mental health. All four tracks are deeply personal: the highs, the lowest lows – it’s a bit dark in places but there are probably a lot of people who can relate. I had to take some time out for my own wellbeing after the first single but it’s been amazing to be able to write about my experiences and finally share them.”
It’s opening track ‘Elixir’ that draws the most similarities with Katy B, meeting somewhere in the middle between club music and soulful ballad. ‘Elixir’ combines eerie, distorted synths with off kilter garage inspired drumbeats. There’s a gradual crescendo and a build of urgency that conveys the feeling that Marin is striving for something.
There’s moments of despondence and hopelessness throughout Only Echoes. ‘Elixir’s’ lyrics are peppered with the hesitant “maybe…” and admission of near defeat in “symptom of a failed love’s curse”. In ‘Falls’, gothic and layered with reverb, uncertainty and dependence are conveyed in “pick me up before my heart falls” and “I can’t breathe alone.” Then take smoky, ambient closing track ‘Exhale’ where her moments of darkness radiate through “witness my decline”.
Overall, Only Echoes is a cathartic and reflective debut EP for Marin; a cohesive melting pot of soul, r&b and pop with a jagged edge to it. The release showcases the fluidity of her vocal, at home driven by a drumbeat and immersive synths or shining as a standout above delicate ambience.
Stream: Marin – Only Echoes