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New Music: Briana Marela

May 23, 2015

Music | by Sophia Miles

One of the latest additions to the prestigious record label, Jagjaguwar, Briana Marela is an up-and-coming songstress from Seattle, who this week released her debut single with them, Surrender. Her first LP with them, All Around Us, is set to reach fans on the twentieth of August. It is anticipated by the folks at Jagjaguwar to be quite a success, which wouldn’t come as a surprise given her impressive list of fellow colleagues at what has become one of the most recognised record labels of contemporary music (including the likes of Angel Olsen, Bon Iver, Unknown Mortal Orchestra etc).


As breakthrough tracks go, this isn’t perhaps the most engaging song, but it illustrates the type of music that you can expect from this native of Washington state. Surrender is a record that sounds as though it could deliver a little more than it lets on, with an underlying anthemic quality without ever quite getting there. This is not necessarily a bad quality though, as it leaves something to the imagination, and serves more as an auditory teaser than anything else. There is an element of mysticism to the sound of Marela’s music, something that appears to be quite close to the singer-songwriter’s heart, and it makes for an interesting listen.

In fairness, this single and yet-to-be-released album does come with some serious musical credentials- it was produced and recorded by Alex Somers, the visual artist who has done extensive collaborative work with the acclaimed Sigur Rós, as well Amiina, another Icelandic group that have worked both in and out of the studio with their well-known compatriots. Clear to see then why those who have backed the release of Briana Marela’s music are so excited for it to be made available for public consumption.

An extensive list of dates across the US has been announced for 2015, as well as an appearance at this year’s Green Man Festival. Those unfamiliar with the Welsh festival that takes place in the Brecon Beacons should check out the line-up, as it is easily shaping up to be one of the best for this year’s crop of music festivals. In addition, Surrender has been made available as a free download with any pre-orders of the debut album, and can be found on Marela’s points of online presence for listening now.


Words by Sion Ford