This month marked the release of the debut EP from Liverpool-residing Norwegian, Mari Hajem. This collection of music was launched at The Kazimier a few weeks ago, and what we get is a release that is extremely refreshing in the Liverpool music scene.
Opening Confusion is Mari Hajem’s debut single, ‘Nebula’. Hajem cites her musical inspiration as the likes of Muse and Coldplay, the influence of the latter being especially prominent here. Compared to the rest of of this EP, ‘Nebula’ feels like it has a little more movement, within soaring vocals over delicate and trickling piano parts. This is probably my favourite track of the whole EP.
‘Confusion’ continues with its title track of the same name, and I was pleasantly surprised. What struck me first was the unique and haunting quality to Hajem’s voice. What we’re treated to here is a track that is lyrically profound laid over a repetitive but gradually layered backing that adds to the emotive sound, slowly evolving into an intricately woven creation.
The penultimate track to Mari Hajem’s Confusion EP is ‘Years’. Immediately, the song has a slightly different vibe to those that have come before. It’s just as emotional but is perhaps less intricate musically, focussing on the qualities of Hajem’s voice, and laying them over each other to create an exceptionally chilled out track.
‘We Will Overcome’ closes the EP, reflecting the versatility of Hajem’s style. Here we see both power and vulnerability in her voice, at first supported by the emotive qualities of the piano before being joined by the hypnotic drum lines that characterised this release’s closing track.
Confusion, overall, is an exciting debut release by Mari Hajem. Its sound is tremendously tricky to definitively place in a specific musical realm, but it’s far from difficult to listen to. An intriguing beginning to what has the potential to be a unique and promising musical journey.