• MARIKA HACKMAN •
Since last appearing at Dot To Dot in 2014, Marika Hackman plays with a new-found confidence. Debut, ‘We Slept at Last’, flaunted Marika’s delicate vocals and melodic art-folk style. Returning in 2017, with sequel I’m ‘Not Your Man’, she abandoned her English sweetheart status and made her comeback raucous and full of energy. Marika’s latest release is a selection of breathy, grunge-pop tracks which brood with angst and simmer with sexuality.
Live, Marika is backed by a full band. Guitars fuzzed up and drums heavy, the band rock out and leave heads nodding. The contrast between her two records, creates a flawless balance in her set. Intertwining the old and new, showcases the singer’s talents and builds anticipation for her louder, animated tracks.
Throughout, ‘I’m Not Your Man’, Marika directly addresses tackling sexuality, overpowering lust, desire and confusion with a sharp, harsh tongue. Like that of The Big Moon, Laura Marling and Courtney Barnett, the tracks are full of attitude and scream girl power.
Hit single ‘Boyfriend’, marked her return and proved an instant anthem for same sex relationships and women’s empowerment. Inspiriting, yet drenched in sarcasm Marika raises these issues head on backed by an infectious melody. In the process, she unearths the technicality of her writing, evident in her debut and shoves it to the fore.
Words by Ellie Nolan
• BULLY •
Bully’s latest record is an electric mix of 90s inspired grunge which will leave the listener ready to throw on their doc martens and stomp around their garage. The Nashville four piece fronted by songwriter and guitarist Alicia Bognannon burst onto the rock music scene in 2015 with the release their debut album, a collection of demos from Alicia’s time interning at Electrical Audio in Chicago.
They since gained a considerable following before signing to Seattle based indie record label, Sub Pop, home to Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney and one of the most respected indie labels in America.
Their most recent record, ‘Losing’, is an album filled with down-and-dirty bass and deep electric guitars, and is the epitome of 90s angst. The amount of energy contained in the album saw them playing huge festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapallooza, Pitchfork Music Festival and ACL, and even landed them a late night spot on Conan.
If you’re a fan of anything Pixies, Black Honey, or even Wolf Alice be sure to check out their latest track ‘Running’.
Words by Becky Leaver
• MEN I TRUST •
Men I Trust instils a slow, solemn, yet familiar feel with the quiet vocals of front-woman Emma, gently narrating stories of the best times spent with those closest as well as recalling moments of feeling the most grounded and connected with yourself amidst the chaos of everyday responsibilities.
Men I Trust are a five-piece Canadian indie band from Montreal with Emma on vocals and guitar, Dragos on keys, Jessy on bass and guitar, Mathieu on drums and Alexis on bass. The band started when Jessy and Dragos crossed paths during their degree studies. Their collaboration on a French-Touch/Italo-Disco track cemented their musicianship and kinship, resulting in a collaboration involving artists Helena Deland, who will also be performing at Dot To Dot this year, and Gabrielle Shonk.
With Jessy’s groovy bass lines emulating the melodic softness of Emma’s vocals, and backed by the thin yet glossy textures of the keys by Dragos, Men I Trust will take you on a relaxed and explorative emotional rollercoaster evoking the deepest emotions we find it hard to make sense of, but are the emotions that strike a gut instinct in letting us know we’re on the right path.
Words by Ben McLennan