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Three English Artists to Look Out For

todayJuly 16, 2015 13 1

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 By Daniela Garcia
Web Content Contributor

*KTSW consists of and respects varying opinions within its staff. Opinion articles do not reflect the opinion of KTSW as a whole.

Me and Sivu
When i met Sivu in 2014. Photo credit to myself.

Marika Hackman from Hampshire, England: At only age 23, Marika Hackman has already established for herself an ethereal and dark musical image one can enjoy especially on her latest album We Slept at Last, which includes one of my favorite songs by the singer/songwriter called “Drown.” If you’re one with an ear for the auditory deep and calm, you may enjoy checking out her Deaf Heat EP which includes an interesting set of four tracks that’ll instantly pull you into a state of wondrous trance. Another favorite song of mine, “Tongues,” lies in this very EP. Growing up Hackman was encouraged to find other creative outlets other than spending time watching animated shows created by her parents and instead began learning the guitar on her own at age 12. She had however, already written her own song at 5 years old. If you take a look at most of her acoustic sessions, it’s undeniable Hackman’s swift signature finger-picking style places her musical talent high on anyone’s scale! It wasn’t long before Burberry requested Marika to perform one of her more popular tracks, “You Come Down” for their Burberry Acoustic sessions. Soft-spoken and a definite air of mystery hovers around Hackman’s performances that doesn’t fail to accompany on a single gorgeous track. Hackman is one of many artists that have also been asked to join the Barn Sessions (videos available on YouTube).  You’ll inevitably be pulled into a realm of dream-like consciousness submerged in a world of romance and unraveling emotions.

Sivu (James Page) from St. Ives, Cambridgeshire: I had the unforgettable pleasure of meeting Sivu after his SXSW performance at Homeslice on South Congress, Austin, TX in 2014. As big fans of Sivu’s expanding work, my best friend and I were tremendously excited to encounter Sivu after his exciting show and trouble him for a few pictures as well as an autograph. Sure enough, Sivu projected a different kind of charm with his English accent and baby-blue eyes that smiled humbly upon us as he took the time to ask us a little bit about what there was to do around Austin, TX. After suggesting a “Michael Jackson” from Hey Cupcake across the street, we thanked him for an awesome performance, parted ways, and silently fan-girled our way back to reality attempting to not melt into the Texan concrete.

After some time of playing with a band owning an edgier sound than his own, Sivu fell at the hands of more popularly known, Alt-J’s producer, kicking off his debut single “Better Man Than He,” a song for which an intriguing video was produced with the image of Sivu’s brain under an MRI machine. He has even been humble enough to discuss his projects on various social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and yes, Snapchat (a few times he has responded to his fans’ questions over his current projects asking us how we have been). Sivu currently has his fans patiently waiting on something new of his, surely to sound a bit dark and soft with his croon-like (swoon-like) vocals over the tracks. Although Sivu did not join us Texans for SXSW this year, we can continue to enjoy what has been released for us indie-folks (pa dum tssss…). A favorite song of mine to listen to when I’m in a dark mood is his excellent cover of Nirvana’s “Dumb.” Fortunately, you can also listen to Sivu on the Barn Sessions YouTube, along with Marika Hackman. And the two have already even collaborated on two songs (Skin & I Hold).

Lianne La Havas (Lianne charlotte Barnes) from London, England: Lianne offers a different taste of soul when it comes to her music. If honey and smoke would be a sound, La Havas’s voice would probably be the embodiment of it. Luckily, Lianne La Havas is also available on YouTube with her In the Woods Barn Sessions in which she channels her inner musical goddess on a gorgeous minty-green electric guitar. She also does an unforgettable version of “He Loves Me,” originally performed by Jill Scott on Le Live’s YouTube channel. Currently, La Havas’s fans are anticipating her latest album Blood Out due July 31st this year! The new album entails familiar honey-vocals over retro distorted chords, a signature sound for her, and I presume fans will not be disappointed when we receive a copy of it. Unlike Marika Hackman or Sivu, Lianne did not start learning guitar until the age of 18 but projects an effortless talent and passion over her soulful performances. I haven’t had the fortunate chance of meeting Lianne La Havas due to her holding more popularity outside of the U.S. but hope to spread the word of the talent she possesses to anyone who enjoys a truly pleasant soul/folk genre listening experience.

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