Just an occasional feature in which we celebrate artists we love …
Like your uncompromising album titles? How about this for an name, then: ‘This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That’, the 2008 sophomore effort from freewheelin’ guitar goddess Marnie Stern, and the one which saw her morph from promising young upstart to all-conquering goliath.
So: who exactly is Marnie Stern? Imagine the furious shredding ability of Yngwie Malmsteen, the gleeful rocking-out of Van Halen, the manic vocal shriek of Bjork or Yoko Ono and the messed-up drum backing of Animal Collective. It’s literal ‘love it or hate it’ stuff – either that description is going to float your boat or sound like the worst thing ever. If you happen to be in the former camp – and you haven’t hear Marnie’s work yet – strap yourself in for the ride.
As mentioned earlier, it was Marnie’s second album ‘This Is It …’ (follow up to 2007’s ‘In Advance Of The Broken Arm’) which really crystallised her unique sound into something truly special. 2010’s self-titled ‘Marnie Stern’ didn’t exactly break new ground in the way of its predecessor, but was still a significant leap in the direction of the mainstream.
Mainstream? Oh yes. It’s entirely feasible that – another album or two down the line – Marnie Stern could become one of the most interesting pop stars in America. Think about it: back in 2004, if anyone had told that genre-fusing cult heroine M.I.A would become a global megastar, how would you have reacted? It’s not easy to mix genuine musical craft and experimentation with poppy accessibility – but, if her sound happens to ‘click’ for you, that’s exactly what Marnie does.