PREMIERE: Marina Mitchell - London
On Christmas Eve 2017 I was lucky enough to meet and record a video with the incredible Marina Mitchell. Today I’m lucky enough to be bringing you her debut film clip London. Strap in, it’s a mighty special song.
Marina Mitchell is a name you’d have seen on some of the best line-ups of 2017. A prolific live artist with a reputation swelling off the back of those shows and friends made along the way playing them. With a back catalogue consisting of two bedroom EPs and a standalone single in last year’s equally endearing and phenomenal Slipping; music for Mitchell is unconventional, deeply personal and cathartic in its release. The nature of producing music in such a way leads to an incredibly intimate listening experience for anyone who stumbles upon or seeks out the music of Marina Mitchell.
Now, just a handful of weeks into 2018, Marina Mitchell, has hit the ground running with a fully produced and beautifully executed single with a accompanying video produced by April Misiluti. Taken out of the bedroom and given a professional polish, by engineer and producer Jonathan Tooke, whilst remarkably fully retaining that signature Marina Mitchell intimacy. London listens like an open page of Mitchell’s journal as beautiful story of reflection on a past relationship unfolds.
Throughout the course of London, Mitchell’s voice meanders between song, conversation and cracked as it is given the clarity it’s been long deserved. A story of feeling safe in someone else, getting lost and an unmentioned love unfolds and envelops its listener in a way that feels all too familiar despite not being your own.
Soft, heartfelt and powerful in its simplicity London is a brilliant first offering for what will hopefully be a big year for Mitchell.
Ahead of the release I caught up with Marina to talk all things London, playing live and plans:
Your songwriting is so honest that asking what the song is about is rendered completely obsolete. So rather, what challenges do you face when you're so openly wearing you heart on your sleeve as a song writer?
There's a few challenges, but my biggest is probably that I worry too much about how people will respond. My songs aren't cryptic - everyone always knows who or what they're about & laying yourself bare in that way is sometimes scary. What's worse is that in person, I'm actually quite reserved so there's this constant inward battle of me wanting to release what I've written but also of being terrified of letting people in to see my insecurities and vulnerabilities.
I also struggle playing live sometimes because I still get so nervous and from time to time, the feels come back and hit me in the face a little bit. For example, I was playing in Melbourne recently, got half way through London and had to stop and move on because I was choking up like a big idiot. Lucky the audience were super lovely about it.
That's quite a beautiful and brutally honest approach to music, how do you find people respond to such a real listening experience?
I’ve mostly had positive feedback so far which is lovely! I’ve had people come up to me after shows or message me on Instagram & tell me stories of how particular songs of mine resonate with them and that is so nice and comforting. I feel a lot of people, like me, find it difficult to speak openly about love, loss and mental health, so being able to connect on these themes through music is beautiful. I’ve also had a little bit of negative feedback which is a bit disheartening but I’m giving it a go which is all I can really do. Also that negativity has exclusively come from patronising males. And I don’t often have time for patronising males.
Do you have anything you’d like to take this opportunity to say to those patronising males?
I would like to say that while I have at times felt defeated and shitty thanks to men, every time they assume I can't tune my guitar, or change a string, or play my instrument or carry my instrument, or neglect to pay me, I am slowly growing a thicker skin and getting angrier. Gender in music should not exist. There is not one kind of music and there is not one kind of musician. So get over it and be better people. No one cares what you reckon.
And now for the people who don't want to get in your way or doubt you... What's on the horizon for you?
I'm not entirely sure to be honest. Hopefully an EP is on the horizon for 2018, but at the moment I'm just kind of trying find my feet by playing lots of shows (I have a few really exciting ones coming up!) and figuring out what exactly i want to do. I'm not putting too much pressure on myself to release lots, I'm just going to try and take my time and do things as they feel comfortable this year. I'll definitely be sharing more "Bedroom Floor Demos" over on Bandcamp shortly. I've been sitting on some new songs so no doubt I'll have my iPhone mic back out and balancing on a stack of old textbooks soon. That will always be my favourite way to record my silly little songs.
Catch Marina Mitchell live with Max Stern (USA) from Meridian & Signals Midwest, Pinch Hitter, SportsBra and Spencer Scott for “Still Lost Fest” on the 3rd of March at Factory Floor.