Marika Hackman’s new album is authentically a ‘Big Sigh’ of relief

· Updated on January 30, 2024

Marika Hackman is leaving her twenties behind and her new album Big Sigh is indicative of that. The album is a window to peer back into a decade of life she left behind. The English singer-songwriter’s first album in four years, Marika describes Big Sigh as her “hardest record” ever made, partly due to the pandemic. 

When the world shut down in 2020, Marika entered a musical dry spell exacerbated by isolation. But inspiration struck in 2021, leading to the creation of one of the album’s singles “Hanging.” Soon after, Marika let her creativity fly, co-producing Big Sigh and performing every part of the album, save the brass and strings, to create genre-morphing music tinged in queer tales of love, lust, and loss. 

INTO interviewed Marika to chat about her dream collab, her queer pop culture icon, and what she hopes fans take away from the Big Sigh

How would you describe your artistry and who are some of your musical influences? 

My parents raised me on a bedrock of fantastic songwriting – stuff like Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac – and then when I was a teenager, I got into The Shins and Laura Veirs and started to write my own music.

Who would make for a dream collaboration? 

If Warpaint, Caroline Polachek, or Alex G ever wanted to collaborate, I would probably melt on the spot. 

What lessons did you learn from previous projects that you’re bringing into your upcoming album Big Sigh

I think I learnt to not overthink things too much and to not conceptualize a record before the songs have been written. I was very keen to create a body of work that was an authentic reflection of myself without hiding behind clever arrangements or punchier genres. 

Who is a queer pop culture icon you talk about like they’re a best friend? 

Errrmmm I don’t know if I talk about anyone I don’t know as if they’re a best friend, but I did have a long standing crush on Freja Beha Erichsen when I was in my late teens, and would buy Vogue just to look at pictures of her in all the fancy fashion adverts. Vogue is pricey when you’re a student! 

With blending more of your queer identity into your music, what do you hope other queer artists take away from your work on Big Sigh

First and foremost, I hope that they love it as a record and connect with the music and lyrics, as I would hope everyone who listens to it would. I like to think that being a queer artist in this day and age doesn’t define what your music is, but instead creates a world where young people see themselves represented in the people around them.

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