What a great name for an album… and one that could only have come from the positively wonderful Marnie Stern.I’ve been a fan of the charming blonde American’s idiosyncratic music ever since I first got my hands on a copy of ‘In Advance of the Broken Arm‘ in 2007. The intricate, noodley guitar lines interweave beautifully with Marnie’s voice to come up with something really unique and interesting. Other famously long album names (such as ‘This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That’) serve to illustrate just why it’s never been easy to pin down or define what she does. Marnie is a force of nature, but manages to pull it off whilst being a lovely genuine and down-to-earth person. Whoever won this competition back in January was surely in for a treat.
It might be something to do with the sunny album cover, but returning with ‘Chronicles of Marnia‘ after a three year gap, this release leaves me with a warm feeling even after just the first listen. It seems like a lot of the layered guitar-shredding insanity that was present before has been scaled back to leave a much more resonantly carefree sound. There’s still the trademark impressive displays of technical experimentation that has always been present in Marnie’s recordings, but this time it feels much more like driving along a wide-open road at sunrise than clinging on to a freight train hurtling through a city at speed.
After following the musical evolution from her earlier releases, and with echoes of Deerhoof and Experimental Dental School in there this time, I think this could well be my favourite Marnie Stern album yet.
Have a listen to ‘Year of the Glad‘ below, and check out the UK tour dates even further below than that.
UK Tour Dates:
Thursday 30th May - Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
Friday 31st May - Sheffield, Queens Social Club
Saturday 1st June - Manchester, Ruby Lounge
Sunday 2nd June - Glasgow, Broadcast
Monday 3rd June - Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
Tuesday 4th June - Bristol, Louisiana
Wednesday 5th June - London, The Garage
‘Chronicles of Marnia‘ is out on March the 18th on the Kill Rock Stars label, and can be pre-ordered on their Bandcamp.