Following her 2020 debut solo album,‘Sleepwalking’, Iamthemorning vocalist Mariana Semkina returns with her new EP ‘Disillusioned’ set for release on 1st October. Combining dark folk with elements of electronica, ‘Disillusioned’ continues the evolution of Mariana as a solo artist.
Originally from St. Petersburg but now based in the UK, she spent a long period of the pandemic unable to write any new music, commenting, “I was unable to write a line – probably because I flew to Russia for a week and got stuck there when borders shut for half a year due to lockdown, which led to quite a bad depression – but after relocating back to the UK I got my second breath, got out of depression and got back to music.”
The ‘Disillusioned’ EP features 5 tracks comprised of 3 original new songs alongside 2 covers sung in Icelandic and Hungarian, in which multiple layers of Mariana’s vocals combine with ambient electronica to create an ethereal choir like effect. Mariana states,
“The two choir pieces I chose to include are a homage to the two places i’ve visited many times and love going to – Iceland and Hungary. I have huge respect for different languages so I payed a lot of attention in getting everything done right, after all if you grow up learning a foreign language if gives you different attitude to such things.
Each language is special and works differently and beautifully with music. History holds so many beautiful musical pieces so i plan to continue my research of European languages and musical heritage. There is a czech proverb that says “learn a new language and get a new soul” and I certainly feel this way – you get to know yourself better when speaking different languages and it’s an amazing experience.”
Lyrically the songs on the EP were inspired by the poets of the Victorian era such as William Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal and Christina Rossetti most of all. Characterised by her composed and unique voice and complex melodic lines, ‘Disillusioned’ will appeal to fans of Mariana’s previous solo work as well as her band Iamthemorning but those who enjoy the music by the likes of Thom Yorke, Nine Inch Nails, Sufjan Stevens and The Cinematic Orchestra will resonate with the more ambient and electronica moments here.
The title ‘Disillusioned’ is partly a reflection of Mariana’s state of mind while writing the EP alongside a desire to have more control over her own work. This has led to her decision to self-release the EP having previously released her debut on Kscope adding, “having full control over your creations is quite precious and beautiful so i will enjoy it while i have energy to do absolutely everything myself to bring my projects to life. It’s a lot of work and a lot of responsibility but neither one scares me, i’m used to both.”
The EP was recorded remotely across the UK, Canada and Russia with regular collaborators, producer and guitarist Vlad Avy, alongside Grigory Losenkov who played piano, synths, bass and created the beautiful string arrangements. Drums on ‘Disillusioned’ were played by Svetlana Shumkova who also performed on Iamthemorning’s album ’The Bell’.
While self released on 1st October the EP will be available earlier to members of Mariana’s Pateron community who supported the creation and production of last year’s debut album. Mariana concludes,
“This release as with everything i’ve been doing for the last two years was supported by my wonderful Patreon community. Having Patreon is a very strong motivation to keep me going because i know i’ll always have people to back me up, and they’re always the first ones to hear about any plans or get copies of everything I do so now i decided to use the fact that i’m self-releasing this to set a double release date, 17th September being the official Patreon release date, when all of my Patrons will get their digital copy of the album as a sign of gratitude for their support and some of them will get CDs and merch bundles.”
Pre-order the ‘Dissolutioned’ EP now – https://marianasemkina.bandcamp.com
Join Mariana’s Patreon community – https://www.patreon.com/marjanasemkina/