Marnie Stern the album mirrors Marnie Stern, the woman. Birthed during a challenging period in her life, the self-titled Marnie Stern is a compendium of life stories both bitter and sweet.
From ballads to her signature pop guitar-tapping style, Stern and long-time co-conspirator Zach Hill have churned out one massively mind-blowing album that will further cement Stern as a rising star in today’s progressive music landscape. Stern also enlists the bass talents of psych-rock Canadian musician Matthew Flegel (of the band Women) and up-and-coming mixer Lars Stalfors (Mars Volta, Funeral Party) resulting in Stern stepping up her sonic game and revealing a mature and more focused side of herself. “I wanted to pay more attention to the delicate and subtly layered spaces in between sound and just make things louder and fuller where I didn't on my last 2 records.” When asked to sum her album up she maintains, “It's direct and honest and real. I’m no longer taking cover under guitar lines or yelping vocals.”
Marnie's third and latest LP, while clearly containing her strongest songs ever, had its fumbles on the way to the finish line. She laughs when describing how the initial recording files were lost and ultimately retrieved through a series of trials-by-fire (upon which many a cigarette was lit) and in one complete statement, she quips: “Holy Doodle!” You will find both the artist and the album to be brighter, louder, more intense and bustling with confidence as the end result.
Clearly, Marnie Stern's life and music are not easily separated; which is why Marnie Stern the record and Marnie Stern the person have REAL personality. Upon hearing her last two albums, In Advance of the Broken Arm (2007) and This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That (2008), it’s quite evident that Stern lives in between the lines of chaos and harmony. Stern’s previous efforts garnered much critical acclaim, from the likes of Pitchfork, New York Times, Time Out, NME and Uncut, highlighting Stern’s dexterity with both guitar playing and songwriting.
Three albums into her career, this certainly leaves her exposed. Yet, within that exposure, we find something more relatable and familiar to us all: vulnerability and resilience. And with this collection of songs, all you hear is…”Marnie Stern”…which is destined for greatness.