08 March 2017

Helen Marnie announced the first gigs of this year

29 Mar: Les Femmes S'en MĂȘlent OFF, Paris, France
26 May: Hidden Door, Leith Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland
01 Sep: Electric Fields, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

More to be announced.

22 February 2017

Fame Magazine interview (2017)

Hi Marnie, how are you today?

Good, thanks. Monday's take a bit longer to get into gear though.

Tell us about your latest track "Alphabet Block".

It's the first track from my new album Strange Words and Weird Wars, and it's a co-write with my producer Jonny Scott. I think it pretty well encapsulates a moment of fear and anxiety, with Glasgow as it's backdrop.

The track is taken from your forthcoming album Strange Words and Weird Wars, what can people expect from the record?

I think they can expect a departure. I wanted to, at least on the surface, move away from the overly emotional feel I had with my previous album Crystal World. So SWWW, is much more upbeat and fun. It still has a lot of depth, but it's just a different approach.

What inspired you to pursue music full-time, did you always have a desire to write and perform?

It's all I've ever done, so it's all I know! As a child I did fancy myself as a bit of a performer, be it acting or music. Quickly though, I learnt I had zero acting talent. Music on the other hand, was always something that had come quite easily to me. In my late teens I did write lyrics (that would never be shown to anybody!) but it wasn't till my mid twenties that I started trying to write songs properly. When I hit my 30s I realised I was actually ok at songwriting. It's a confidence issue. I never thought I was any good. But now I know I can be. That's what keeps me going. I get a thrill when I know I've written something great.

When composing music how does the writing process work for you?

It all depends really. Sometimes I'll start with the music bed, sometimes just drums. Other times I'll have a lyrical idea in my head. On Strange Words and Weird Wars there are quite a few co-writes with Jonny Scott where he would start with the music bed and I would then write the melody/topline and then lyrics. It's all done pretty simply in my home studio. Just my laptop, mic, and a MIDI keyboard to start.

You spent a lot of time in Liverpool, how did your time their influence you musically?

My time spent at Liverpool was my University years. Much as I would love to say I was a good student, I wasn't. I was much more interested in going out, meeting people, and having fun. In that respect, Liverpool was great. There were so many clubs and bars back in the late 90's and you could always find music if you wanted it. Liverpool is where I met my band Ladytron, so I guess that played a massive part in forming my musical future.

How does it compare with the music scene back home in Glasgow?

I haven't been back to Liverpool for quite some time now so I'm not really up on the current scene. I played FestEvol last year, but it was such a flying visit that I had no time to hang out. Glasgow, on the other hand, is my home now and has been for the last 4 years so I have a much better grasp of that scene. I love it. It is literally brimming with music and I've met some super talented people since moving here. At the moment the Celtic Connections festival is on, and in one week I saw a gig by HQFU, which is melodic house, followed by Kirsty Law's quirky Scottish trad folk. That pretty much sums up Glasgow.

If you could play in any band or with any artist past or present who would that be and why?

Wow. It's hard to choose. I'd like to sing on a Prince track, just because. I don't think that needs any explanation. I also would've liked to play with Michael Jackson on his Dangerous tour because then I would've got to see him take off on his jet pack.

Describe your sound in 5 words.

Dark Wave Electro Pop Music


02 February 2017

Almost Predictable interview (2017)

Helen Marnie's solo work to date is a wonderful thing with her debut album Crystal World and standalone single "Wolves" both must haves in anyone's collection. Her new solo album Strange Words and Weird Wars, released under her solo guise Marnie, is due out on 25 March and it's been preceded by the gorgeous single "Alphabet Block". The track is as fine an examples of synthpop as you'll hear at the moment, showing the many artists who have been influenced by her solo work and, of course, her work with Ladytron, just how this type of music is done.

Mixing a new poppier direction with shoegaze and dream pop influenced electronics, "Alphabet Block" is a powerful, mesmerising track that demands repeated plays. The verses and the chorus juxtapose perfectly with the former's darker feel giving way to the shimmering space of the chorus magnificently. As you can hear below, "Alphabet Block" is a special track and one you're going to love. It's a great taster for the album too and that record is going to be one of the must hear releases this year. You don't want to miss it - once again, Glasgow proves itself to be the new home of electronic music.

I had a quick chat with Marnie to find out a bit more about "Alphabet Block".

Welcome back Marnie! "Alphabet Block" is quite a way to announce your return. Tell us a bit about the song.

Thank you. It's great to be back! The song is a co-write with producer Jonny Scott. He produced the album Strange Words and Weird Wars and I've been working with him since I wrote "Wolves" in 2014. I thought "Alphabet Block" would be a good album opener, a little sneak peak at what to expect. That being said, the album is quite different to "Alphabet Block". AB is a wordy little number, which I would describe as shoegaze electropop. I love all the swirling guitars and arpeggiators. Lyrically, it's actually really dark. I wrote it at a time of personal uncertainty. However, I think it does come across as warm and that is due to the instrumentation.

The song has a real classic synthpop feel to it. Does the song represent a move towards a poppier sound generally?

I would agree with that, yes. It's funny, when I did my last album Crystal World, a few people advised me not to move in that direction. As in, I'd be wrong to do that. So, this is basically my 'fuck you' to them. Nobody should ever tell me what kind of music I should make. I can make my own decisions and create whatever I want.

Were there any particular influences in mind when you wrote the track? The chorus has a real dream pop feel to it for example.

Because the verses are so lyrically full, it was important for me create some space and depth with the choruses. And I did that be introducing that dreamy vocal feel. Elongating the words. Creating more breath and layering the vocals. The guitars also give a sense of space. I like that the song enters like a club track, but then completely changes and transforms into something different.

Looking forward, your second solo album Strange Words and Weird Wars is out in March. Can we expect a similar, more pop focused approach?

I can't tell you how excited I am to finally have the album coming out. It will be over 2 years in the making. And, as seems is usual with me, not everything went as smoothly as I would've wished. It's definitely a pop effort, there is no denying that. But I think there's also a lot more to it than that. It's intelligent, it's melodic, it's not overly produced, it's guitars, it's synths, it's my voice, and it's a good ride. I'm hoping people will be pleasantly surprised.


Thanks very much to Marnie for taking the time to have a chat. As I've mentioned earlier, Strange Words and Weird Wars is destined to be an album that a lot of you are going to love this year. "Alphabet Block" is a wonderful way to reintroduce yourself to Marnie.


25 January 2017

The artwork and track listing of Strange Words and Weird Wars

Track listing:
01. Alphabet Block
02. Bloom
04. Electric Youth
05. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
06. Lost Maps
07. Summer Boys
08. Little Knives
09. Invisible Girl
10. Heartbreak Kid


24 January 2017

Helen Marnie is back with the single "Alphabet Block"

Helen Marnie is back with a great new single titled "Alphabet Block" from her upcoming second solo album Strange Words and Weird Wars (to be released on 25 March). This single premiered today on PopJustice. According to the press release:

The ability to effortlessly play with genres becomes more and more apparent as you work your way through what is such a sonically impressive record. Tracks such as album opener, the unashamedly melodic "Alphabet Block", nods to contemporary pop artists; think an electro-pop fusion between La Roux and Kylie. "Girls" expertly creates the immediacy of Ladyhawke's best work, with "Electric Youth" channeling 80's mall pop; a glorious guilty pleasure and one of the stand-out tracks on the album. Introspection comes in the form of the shoegaze-inspired "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night", giving the air of an unreleased b-side from a cult vampire movie, while forthcoming single "Lost Maps" is a pop classic in the making; a single that should be heard on dance floors all over the world.

After moving back to Glasgow in September 2012, after many years living in London, Marnie continued to write music following the success of her solo project and subsequent album release in 2013. Influenced by life, love, loss, politics and all things 80's pop, Marnie has created an album that has an intelligence and a depth behind what, on the surface, is a melodic contemporary pop record. With support having already come from tastemakers like Pitchfork, Pop Matters and Under the Radar, Marnie will be looking to build upon this through the release of her second solo record; an album that will rightly be deemed one of the most anticipated of 2017.

10 January 2017

Update about Helen's new solo album

"After five albums as lead vocalist of Liverpool electropop quartet Ladytron, Glasgow-born and based Helen is busy working on the follow up to her successful 2013 debut solo album Crystal World. Working with producer Jonny Scott, Marnie has labelled album number 2 'a war between digital and analogue' choc full of vintage synths. A recent video shoot in Arrochar suggests it won't be long until she is back with new material in early 2017".


11 December 2016

Helen Marnie is preparing a new music video

Helen twitted: "On location in Arrochar today for my video shoot!!!!".

29 November 2016

Little Boots covered "Destroy Everything You Touch"

The electropop artist and long time Ladytron fan Little Boots covered "Destroy Everything You Touch" on piano. She selected the song from hundreds of song requests from her fans and she livestreamed the performance on her Facebook page.