GIVE IT A LISTEN: Marika Hackman's Done It Again


Thanks to the wonder that is soundcloud.com, I was hooked on Deaf Heat, Maricka Hackman's latest EP, well before it touched down in purchasable form. Now that the fresh set of tunes is available both on CD, and in the ITunes/Google Play stores, you too can get your brain stuck on the twining refrains of Deaf Heat.

Hackman's music has always had a dark air to it, but these songs must be the eeriest yet. Nigh-on religious chants and echoes mix with jungle-like rhythms, while Marika's vocals remain ghostly and pure - reminiscent, I always find, of the whisper of fine sand, or silk sheets on skin. Speaking of which, the sounds of the EP have a similar way of gliding over the ears; they envelope the mind without distracting it (probably why each harmony tends to remain floating on the edge of hearing for hours after the song ends).

Tongues is a breathy, religious chorus. It envelops you in the sensations of cold marble echoes and reverant candlelight. Here, we can truly see how Marika shines at creating full-throttle vocal soundscapes using only her own voice and instrumentation - she is a spectacular one-woman choir.

Deep Green then departs from the gentle swells of the previous track by throwing us straight into wailing vocals and frantic drums. The whole song feels volatile and bitter, with stabs of harmony and urgent strings. Hackman's silky voice somehow manages to impart a vicious nature into the words 'Beat me at my own damn game, fucking with my god damn brain' without departing from her usual apathetic smoothness. It all makes you feel a little like kicking someone, followed by a good victory dance.

Call Off The Dogs is a return to Hackman's characteristic eerie melancholy. After a whispering verse filled with her signature unexpected melodies, the song builds to a thickly emotional chorus, before trailing off into spooky twangs of instrumentation.

I Follow Rivers finishes off the EP with a trippy combination of droning synths and Hackman's take on Lykke Li's spooky lullaby. This sounds like aliens, or mermaids, or alien mermaids. It's a soft, watery embrace. It's Marika Hackman at her intense, ethereal best.


OUTFIT: Seeing Green

On Saturday, as a pre-birthday celebration, my family took me to see 'Birdland' at the Royal Court Theatre, a theatrical masterpiece headlined by Andrew Scott - best known as BBC's modern Holmes villain, Jim Moriarty. Despite my somewhat grim expression pictured here, it was an incredible experience. While I knew I'd have a great time at the theatre, I always find myself presented with a conundrum on booking my ticket: what to wear? In the old days of posh, proper spectacle, I suppose a ballgown and a fur stole would have done the job every time. But theatre now welcomes the masses to pop in for a quick show between shopping and dinner, making it a little harder to find the right balance of fancy and relaxed.
My solution: a pair of vintage boyfriend jeans - the looser fit comes in handy when stuck in a fold-out chair for several hours - and a neat, sporty racerback. The top comes in a neoprene-like material and has sharp structuring, taking this outfit a little further away from a tee-and-jeans level of chill. Shoes with a bit of height also add interest. To complete the thoroughly 90s feel, I added a cardie slung around my waist, schoolgirl plaits, and a mini backpack.
Top: Topshop
Bag: vintage, similar here, here, and here
Jeans: Rockit Vintage
Cardigan: unknown
Shoes: Shoes: Topshop (sold out)


OUTFIT: Bruised

I wore this black and blue do for an afternoon at the Royal Academy. I think chunky platforms are the best for art exhibitions - you can see over everyone's heads! Also, a high shoe with matching knee socks elongates legs by a mile. A long coat and lots of layers kept me nice and cosy, despite the very un-spring-like chill that day. I also took my trusty pink rucksack to hold the essential camera and sketchbook.
Coat: Rokit Vintage
Dress: East End Thrift Store
Shirt: unknown
Turtleneck: similar here
Bag: K-styleme


COLLECTION REVIEW: Play it again, Lazy Oaf

Just a note - I'll be splitting my posts up into various formats, the Collection Review being one of them. Each review will focus on the brand/designer, the features of the collection, my favourite pieces, and my response to the collection.

Who are They:
Lazy Oaf doesn't change much, or follow trends per se. Their collections seem to be less driven by innovation and one-upmanship than by pure fun. This is entirely understandable, because what Lazy Oaf brings us repeatedly is something they are incredibly good at: youthful, crazy, pieces with an interesting pop culture tinge. And, despite varying little in their style, each new collection is far from boring - Lazy Oaf churns out cheeky new motifs every time.

This Collection:
As usual, this is a fresh update of pattern, print and entertaining slogans in a fair mix of graphic monochrome and cartoon-style brights. As usual, each piece is a funky statement that would go well with others from the collection, or with simpler co-ordinating pieces (think plain cJamesd turtlenecks or relaxed denim). As usual, I'm certain that they would all look wonderful in my wardrobe.

Pookie Wants:
Pizza? Check. Cute fruits? Check. Checks? Check. The short, structured pelmet skirt is everywhere this season.

Growing up in an area with more chicken shops than bus stops, this tote has a special place in my heart..

This seems, at first glance, like one of the more conservative pieces of the collection - but it gets interesting when you spot the crazy eye print staring back at you.
'Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.' Well, actually, these flirty floral boobs are a tad more interesting than your regular English garden print.
Everybody's sporting monster inspired fashions right now - fuzzy knits, rainbow furs, scary shoes... Go a step further and wear an actual monster. Pink, hot colour of the winter just passed, has never stopped being cool.

One of my favourite pieces of the collection. Sheer and feminine, but with a tougher sporty edge from the racing stripes, and a great little sarky remark.. Niiiiiiice.
With names like 'Big Fat Yes' and 'I said Yes', I have a feeling these co-ords might have something or other to do with the importance of consent. Although that could be wishful thinking, these sporty co-ords certainly make some kind of statement. Perfect midi skirt/sweater pairing.
Pookie Will...
Not be able to afford most of these pieces. But the fun, out-there quality of the clothes might just inspire some D.I.Y fashion. Slogans and simple motifs aren't too hard to add to t-shirts, skirts and dresses with a little fabric paint and imagination...