On September 9th, Helen Marnie posted a SoundCloud link on her Twitter account (@marnieofficial) to her new song, “Wolves”. Five days later it was available to purchase in iTunes (and presumably elsewhere).
It’s not only a fantastic song that should appeal to any fans of last year’s Crystal World or Ladytron in general, but also a song with a message about self-determination.
Helen Marnie is Glaswegian and was an ardent supporter of the Scottish Independence Referendum. Wolves was inspired by the referendum and the lyrics are in the mould of a traditional protest song urging people to act on whatever it is they believe or think is right against the establishment trying to maintain the status quo. Unfortunately, Scotland ultimately went with the status quo after all. I’m a continent away and not really in much of a position to comment on the referendum, but I suspect the result had more to do with fear of change driven by the establishment media than a lack of desire for independence.
Wolves sounds a lot like like her recent solo album, Crystal World, which sounds a lot like Ladytron. As a matter of fact, I feel like this track feels a little bit more Ladytron than most of the Crystal World material. The gritty synthbass driving the verses doesn’t feel far removed from “Runaway”, while the brass miming it might feel quite comfortable on Light & Magic. Despite that, this is the first solo Marnie effort that isn’t produced by Ladytron bandmate Daniel Hunt. Wolves (and likely the forthcoming album) is produced by drummer Johnny Scott of a band I’m unfamiliar with, Olympic Swimmers, as well as a few others.
I was one of the supporters of her Pledge Music campaign for Crystal World (did she ever sell the car?) and have been hugely impressed with her solo work as it captures a lot of what makes Ladytron great, but operates on a more personal level. Wolves, with a dark bassline driving lyrics urging self-determination into a majestic, soaring chorus, is a great example of this. I’m eagerly awaiting both her second solo album, and Ladytron’s next album. I’m waiting, but… how long?
There is also an official video on YouTube
Incidentally, shortly before the vote, she tweeted the video for “We Built This City” in promotion of the referendum (“Come on Glasgow”), and, if you don’t look very closely, the freeze frame on the video doesn’t seem that shockingly different from her own:
Much more so in the media thumbnails on her twitter page:
The videos are wholly unrelated. :)