Marika Hackman’s Any Human Friend was released via SubPop Records on August 9th, 2019. This is her second studio album with SubPop and her fourth overall. Marika is an English multi-instrumentalist, a writer, and a producer who delivers clever word play mixed with melancholy that creates this dry humor throughout the record, and incredible chord lines that draw you in.
The opener wanderlust has an eerie feel to it that entices your curious senses as to what you’re about to listen to. You quickly realize on the one that this is an album that is extremely personal to Marika, while at the same time you start to see that dry humor shine through. The description for this track via her YouTube page said this, “For all you attention whores and big-headed beauties, here is a song from the depths of my extraordinary ego”, which is objectively funny and shows that this song is coming from a personal place. She made me laugh with lines like “all you fuckers want my dick” and “I’ve got BDE; I think it’s a venereal disease”. By the way, I believe that “BDE” is referring to “Big Dick Energy” and “venereal disease” is just another name for an STD, which would indicate that she has this confidence about her that might get in her way at times. She follows this up with three incredible tracks, all night, blow, and i’m not where you are. There’s a wonderful music video for i’m not where you are which I will link here. Just as you think the album might be taking a turn to a softer approach with send my love, Hackman bridges this track with hand solo through the chorus that sets the track up perfectly, and I love when artists do something like this. It’s intriguing and makes you want more, and she delivers just that.
On the track hand solo, a song about masturbation,she uses that clever word play with lines like “Under Patriarchal Law; I’m gonna die a virgin” which is referring to this general idea that “sex” is strictly on a basis of penetration and not all the other types of sex whether it be oral, hand, queer and anal. Marika is a queer woman herself and has said that she “finds it interesting that sex has to be penetration in today’s world” and that if that’s the case, “then I will die a virgin”. Earlier on in the track she also uses a line “Oh, monkey glove” which is an old wives’ tales about masturbation. Marika said this about the “monkey glove” line in an interview, “One of them I read is that you get hairy hands if you masturbate too much”, which was supposed to discourage women from masturbating. Masturbation has often been discouraged for women whereas it has been encouraged for men. It’s clear that this bothers Marika, and I do not blame her. The double standard surrounding masturbation is bullshit and it should be encouraged as it is a totally natural and healthy part of life that everyone should enjoy.
As the album progresses, Marika continues to keep you on your toes with tracks like conventional ride and come undone, a track about her unraveling in a way she’s not used to, which is probably one of my favorite tracks on the record. Only to take you back to where you started with any human friend, as it has a similar vibe to the records opener wanderlust, except it’s not as eerie and really is a beautiful closer.
This is an album I continue to enjoy more and more with each listen, it’s complex yet simple flow between each track brings me back on a weekly basis. I strongly suggest each and every one of you (which is probably just my mom and dad, I’m sure you guys enjoyed that long paragraph about masturbation) to give this record a listen, your ears will thank me.
After I’ve gone back and forth about what I thought was my favorite album, Jay Som’s and Tyler’s album gave me some fits with this, I’ve decided that this is my favorite record of 2019. Congrats Marika, you’ve got the approval of this 21(almost 22)-year-old radio host. You can add that to the abundance of accolades this record should get, I’m sure it means a lot.
Disclaimer: This is just my opinion, it’s neither right nor wrong. If you enjoyed this review, please let me know. If you did not enjoy this review, please let me know why that is so I can improve my reviews for KZUU 90.7 FM.
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