Mariam The Believer is in fact the same Mariam who is so amazing in Wildbirds & Peacedrums, and who delivers mind-blowing performances in the Fire! Orchestra. On Love Everything she guides every aspect of the gorgeous pop sound, bringing in collaborators (including Oren Ambarchi, Mats Gustafsson, Sofia Jernberg!) to help sculpt her vision. Beautiful stuff, out on Repeat Until Death.
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Mariam The Believer, it turns out, is Mariam Wallentin and also the Mariam who impresses everyone who hears her over and above the theatrics of her bandmates in Wildbirds & Peacedrums. Love Everything (a bold instruction; we’ll see) is MTB’s second solo adventure following her lovely, haunting ‘Blood Donation’ LP of 4 years ago, the inaugural release for her Repeat Until Death record label.
From the opening track, thoughtfully called ‘Opening’, this record begins to reveal itself as something special. There’s Wallentin’s voice, for starters: a shimmering and floating presence with a smoky edge. The record is crammed full of beautifully crafted pop with a soulful edge. There are moments of intricacy amongst the intimacy of Wallentin’s voice; Exhibit A: the sparse drumming and percussion on ‘Bodylife’ coupled with gorgeous electronic textures and a stark, jarring guitar that seems to have crashed through from another record. It wouldn’t have sounded out of place if it had been on the last Mount Kimbie record. Exhibit B: the hushed, AOR-ish synth and guitar that suddenly give way to Wallentin’s emptying lungs and weeping violins on the lovely, yearning ballad ‘Darkening’.
Even if you think you couldn’t possibly love everything, maybe there’s a place in your heart for a dollop of this dramatic, sumptuous pop. Then colour me pleased.
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- Love Everything by Mariam The Believer
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