If you’re an indie music junkie or avid music blog reader, you may be familiar with the electronic duo “Marian Hill” for their jazzy vocals and sublime production. The band released an EP called “Sway” in late 2015 which was graced by Samantha Gongol’s slow-burning airy vocals over Jeremy Lloyd’s subtle, bass-heavy R&B production. Tunes like “Got it,” “Whisky,” and “Lips” showed incredible versatility, promise, and–perhaps most importantly—an eye for pulling together unique qualities from different genres to create something distinct. Despite these edgy tunes, the pickiest of mainstream listeners may have permanently relegated Marian Hill to the indie/alternative scene.
That all changed yesterday when the duo released a song called “I Want You” that wraps up their jazzy bass drops in a warm, poppy exterior that has a huge shot of launching the band into the mainstream. “I Want You” is a restrained but dynamic hit that takes the listener on a “carpet ride” through the spellbinding inner workings of Marian Hill, showcasing upbeat and new, exciting pop sounds that we haven’t heard from the band—or mainstream pop—in quite some time.
“I Want You” opens with an unabashedly Spanish-infused flare—castanets clatter over a deep bass drop as brassy synths warm up the minimal styling. Samantha Gongol pulls us in by the collar just to sing slightly above a whisper like we’re in a crowded club: “You look like Friday night / I’d like to dress you up and take you on a carpet ride.” You can hear a smile and a laugh in her voice as she sings “I hate to see you leave but love to watch you walk away.” We’re given a special performance in a smoke-filled club by an insider who is going to take us for a stroll.
The real brilliance comes out in the chorus, though, as we’re treated to a masterclass on the word “I.” In Gongol’s “I’ve been so tired on the weekend,” the “I” is exhaled in a sigh of relief as she lilts through the chorus and the production backs off to make room for her. The stuttered chorus is even better; the “I” in “I want you” bubbles like a frenetic current that pulls us through three and a half minutes of bliss. If you’re not sold by the time the second chorus rolls around, you will be once you hit the bridge in which Gongol serves up a sultry elongation of the main theme that would make Ella Fitzgerald proud.
“I Want You” is the precursor to Marian Hill’s debut full length album, ACT ONE, which will be released in June. If the album exhibits the same unique vibe of “I Want You” with just a tasteful pinch of pop, expect ACT ONE to hit your eardrums–and the charts–hard. Go get a copy of “I want you” or pre-order ACT ONE here.