Singer Marika Hackman’s Boiling Cauldron of Desire

”I’m Not Your Man” is smart, shimmering pop for fans of Grizzly Bear or Lily Allen.

Marika Hackman
I’m Not Your Man
Sub Pop

Courtesy of Sub Pop Records

Projecting relaxed cool, Britain’s Marika Hackman offers a variety of ways to listen on her remarkable second album. Produced by Charlie Andrew (whose credits also include Alt-J and Hackman’s debut), and featuring backing by London’s The Big Moon, I’m Not Your Man is smart, shimmering pop, with rich melodies and textured, often dreamy, arrangements that should grab fans of everyone from Lily Allen to Grizzly Bear. Focus on the lyrics and a different story emerges. “I’ve got your boyfriend on my mind/I think he know you stayed with me last night,” she murmurs in the opening track, continuing with dry sarcasm, “It’s fine ‘cause I am just a girl…A woman really needs a man/To make her scream.” Elsewhere, Hackman heats up a boiling cauldron of obsessive desire and gnawing resentment, portraying overpowering feelings in bluntly visceral terms, with prominent references to lips, tongues and teeth in the mix. Her stories spotlight same-sex scenarios, but anyone who’s experienced relationship madness will understand. Combine the pretty sounds and the corrosive emotions, and the result is a bracing, provocative album worth programming on repeat.