Marika Hackman is back. Breathe in, count to ten, and breathe out


Breathe in, count to ten, and breathe out. Marika Hackman is back. Armed with her new single, ‘No Caffeine’, Marika guides us through her anxiety-reducing routine.‘No Caffeine’ is Marika’s first release for Chrysalis Records, and arrives replete with a music video that she has co-directed with Natàlia Pagès.

Marika reflects on the new song, “No Caffeine is a list of what to do to avoid having a panic attack and looking at my anxiety as an abusive partner.”Sung as if from the foetal position, she intones the listener to “Occupy your mind / Don’t stay home / Talk to all your friends, but don’t look at your phone / Scream into a bag / Try to turn your brain
off.” Marika uses the piano as a house of horrors style device to accelerate the sense of a lurking panic attack, brought to life by the song’s loud quiet dynamics. On
‘NoCaffeine’, Marika lives in the rub of industrial and pastoral, exploring the innocence of childhood versus the gnarly realities of adulthood.

At the start of 2020, Marika hurtled into lockdown; stifled and isolated, her musical brain nullified. She had been in a constant cycle of write/record/press/tour for nine years, since the age of nineteen, and the eerie silence of stopping was agonising. Being with friends, swimming, collaborating and touring, everything Marika normally used to distract her mind from spiralling thoughts and feelings had disappeared. She stopped writing songs. As the months progressed, she accrued scraps of melodies but never felt that spectral hit of a fully formed song arriving in her brain. However, Marika’s never-ending pursuit of untangling her internal universe via music would eventually allow her to find her way back to the golden orb of creativity, trapped within a massive block of ice that had built up over the months of her writer’s block.

And so, four years after Marika’s last studio album, ‘Any Human Friend’ – a celebration of sexy fun and visceral, rank hotness – she has revealed ‘No Caffeine’, a song that thrusts its listener right into the eye of the storm, listing what to do to avoid having a panic attack and looking at her anxiety as an abusive partner. Not only has Marika played every instrument save for the brass and strings on the single but has produced it too, along with additional production from Sam Petts-Davies (Thom Yorke, Warpaint) and long-term collaborator Charlie Andrew (Alt-J).

Observant fans of Marika’s will have noticed murmurs of new music over the last few weeks, sonic snippets shared and hinting there could be more to come from Marika very soon. Now exhale.