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PREMIERE: Josey Marina – ‘Heavy’

Simple lyrics which seethe with multiple meanings under the sounds of the words themselves, woven into much bigger, blistering soundscapes – that is the impression of the work of Stockport-based musician, singer and songwriter Josey Marina. Her latest track ‘Heavy’ does not disappoint.

Following on from last year’s release of ‘Violet Desires’ and the particularly poignant single ‘Moon’, which meandered music through the craters of lived experience, ‘Heavy’ has an even more haunting quality to it, I believe. Haunting because it makes the familiar places, familiar pastimes – like a hotel stay – into something that speaks of intrigue, untold exploration, unease.

The track opens with redolent keys, poured through with echo which seems to be on the edge of thought. “A beautiful cliché, memories on white sheets…. that’s why I can’t sleep” – Marina’s voice is thickened with mystery, refreshingly allowing the listener to interpret the lyrics in a way which is most intimate, most resonant, to them. Music can mean multiple things at multiple levels, and this is a concept Marina does not shy from.

Piano prowls round her reflection, the circulating keys grow forming a sense of threat before a driving drumbeat fades into thickening strings and a steady progression as she considers the nature of being ‘tangled’. True, time tangles us in so much – love, loss, sense of obligation.

What I like particularly in this track is that the terrain of the soundscape, so to speak, is in ever-growing turbulence. It seems right that the climactic, almost choral point of the track is the single word ‘Heavy’, topped with strings which slide in an almost alarm-like quality. Here the number of instruments doesn’t just increase, but their volume, verging on the edge of so many untold apexes with the rousing line: “It’s heavy air I’m breathing”.

The piece ends with the beautifully woven words with which it began, a ‘beautiful cliché’. We take the experiences of our past, those moments of rare anonymity in rented rooms, places that aren’t a permanent part of our lives and craft our future with them. The track tells of so much more than a single set space. After all, it feeds into the notion of ‘Heavy’ as a kind of interim, a point for reflection in Marina’s current and ongoing work with an electronic science fiction project, questioning the nature of reality and other dimensions.

This track tells of possibility and wants to take us there, to allow us to feel it for ourselves. Start off with the exploration this allows and don’t just listen; see where it takes you.

Josey Marina’s new single ‘Heavy’ will be released on 18th March via Gloaming Records.

Find Josey Marina on Facebook and Twitter.

Emily Oldfield
Lover of music, poetry and Manchester.

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