Words About Music
Mariam The Believer “Blood Donation”
Ah, Sweden. One of the secluded Petri dishes of amazing music. ABBA, Lykke Li, Avicii, The Knife, Jenny Hval, Robyn, Little Dragon, and so many more awesome singers and bands and artists hail from the beloved country. Also IKEA. Also meatballs.
Another exciting female pop sensation called Mariam The Believer (and half of husband-wife duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums) has just released her debut album “Blood Donation,” and its one of the moodiest, darkest pop albums I’ve heard in a while, and kind of reminds me of that Jenny Hval album that came out earlier this year, except with less sexual themes.
“Blood Donation” is notable for its visceral, tribal sound that mixes Fever Ray with Fiona Apple, while still remaining startlingly original and suspenseful. It’s pop music that will never get played on an American radio, and that’s a shame, because it’s some of the best stuff I’ve heard all year.
Another plus for this debut album is that there really isn’t a single bad song on it. It’s very consistent, apart from the minute-long tracks, and maintains this murky atmosphere. Needless to say, “Blood Donation” is an extremely intense yet worthwhile listen.
Without a doubt the best song on here is the longest. Track 6, “Invisible Giving,” nearly hits the 8-minute mark, and it’s a very powerful song that was very well produced and very well put together. Mariam is, if anything, as impressive a vocalist as she is a lyricist, although she doesn’t always strive to show how good of a singer she is.
Don’t let this album slip underneath your radar this year. It’s all the atmospheric darkness of Joy Division with all the avant-pop of Fiona Apple’s most recent album combined in a cool and fun-to-listen-to way. Check it.
SCORE – 8.6
FAVORITE TRACKS – Blood Donation, Dead Meat, The String of Everything, Invisible Giving, First Haiku, Love Is Taking Me Over