Marika Hackman – I’m Not Your Man review

Mari­ka Hack­man is not your typ­i­cal alter­na­tive rock­er. Tena­cious and rebel­lious, her debut album, We Slept at Last, caught the atten­tion of many with its sur­re­al mix­ture of bit­ter­sweet folk-rock and music that defies clas­si­fi­ca­tion com­plete­ly. On her sec­ond album, Hack­man has opened up fur­ther, and cre­at­ed anoth­er sur­pris­ing record that is a treat for both fans and newcomers.

The title of the album speaks direct­ly to the themes that are recur­rent through­out the project: name­ly, fem­i­nin­i­ty and sex­u­al­i­ty. In the open­ing track ‘Boyfriend’, Hack­man airs the frus­tra­tion she feels with society’s view of les­bian rela­tion­ships as she sings, “It’s fine ’cause I am just a girl / It doesn’t count / He knows a woman needs a man to make her shout’. Hack­man deliv­ers her irri­ta­tion with a pas­sion­ate­ly fierce and emo­tive swag­ger, mak­ing it an instant favourite.

Oth­er stand­out tracks include ‘Time’s Been Reck­less’ and ‘My Lover Cindy’. The for­mer has a mid-90s Brit rock feel to it – think Blur or Super­grass. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly felt in the cho­rus of the track, as Hackman’s unapolo­getic tones are pit­ted against the chants of The Big Moon. The theme of this track is sim­i­lar to ‘My Lover Cindy’, where she expos­es her dif­fi­cul­ty in com­mit­ting to rela­tion­ships and her ten­den­cy to get bored easily.

How­ev­er, whilst these tracks por­tray Hack­man as emo­tion­less and frosty, songs such as ‘East­bound Train’ and ‘I’d Rather Be with Them’ reveal Hackman’s vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. Her por­tray­al of a guard­ed woman is a recur­rent motif through­out the project, and rings true in a world where the only way to sur­vive is to become numb to dam­ag­ing exter­nal fac­tors. I’m Not Your Man demon­strates this in the clever­est way, and with her fierce and bold vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty, Hack­man proves that she has well and tru­ly arrived – and is here to stay.


I’m Not Your Man is out now on AMF Records/Universal Music.

If you like this artist, check out: Flo Mor­ris­sey; Låp­s­ley

Image: Steve Gullick