For those who don’t know, Helen Marnie is the wonderfully stylish frontwoman of the currently on hiatus (but soon to be resurrected) electroclash darlings Ladytron.
And while Ladytron have been absent for a good five years now, Marnie struck out on her own with the accomplished album Crystal World in 2014 that saw her develop her talents both as a writer and vocalist away from the main band – that was followed up with a single, Wolves in the same year (but which did not appear on her solo album) and a tour at some intimate venues across the UK and some select dates across the world.
Which brings us to now, and the lead single Alphabet Block from her new album Strange Words and Weird Wars (due on 25th March).
This track takes her work to a whole new level.
Her unique breathy vocals float wonderfully over a crisp production masterpiece that has echoes of mid 80’s synth dream-pop. The track swoops and whirls like a happy bird in flight and takes you off into the strange world of her unique lyrics (what is an Alphabet Block?) – She is second only to Duran’s Le Bon in writing apparently disjointed couplets that seamlessly fit together – and you know that they mean something deep and profound, but it’s her coded little secret.
I confess to being a kid in a candy shop trying to pick meanings out of this stuff. It’ll keep me going for weeks. While I’m doing that, you should be listening to the track too, and if you figure it out drop me a line…