Do you remember when Connie Talbot wowed us on Britain’s Got Talent when she sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow? Who could have expected that incredible voice would come from that tiny little girl? It’s the modern argument when talking about music – image vs. talent – what is more important to you? Well, I think everyone knows that my focus is always on the music that people produce, and I don’t care where it comes from, as long as it makes my heart leap, my feet tap, my head nod and my hard earned money to be spent. I’d be lying, though, if I said I didn’t notice what someone looked like. I’m not a judge on The Voice (and who really believes that’s not about image, anyway?), after all!
When I was sent a link for Folk singer Marina Florance’s website, I saw her photos and then went to her Soundcloud page. I didn’t have a preconception, exactly, but have to admit that if I’d have seen Marina walking down the street, doing her shopping or having her hair done, I probably wouldn’t have remembered her afterwards. I definitely couldn’t have predicted what happened next. When I heard her sing “The Dress”, my ears did a double take – her low velvet tones absolutely blew me away, and tears sprang to my eyes. I felt immediately emotionally connected to this music, to her voice, and to the natural flow of each song.
I wrote down four names whilst listening to Marina’s songs. Edith Piaf, Karen Carpenter, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks. These are people whose music I enjoy and admire, and I feel Marina has a part of each of them within her own music – of course, she has her very own style, but influences are nevertheless ever-present, I think. Certainly, listeners often find that they recognise particular styles within new music.
Tom Robinson of BBC 6 Music has picked up on Marina’s music, and included her song “The Moon” on his mixtape in November 2013. She’s played the Cambridge Folk Festival, and I don’t mind betting she’ll be back there, and other festivals, this year.
Marina’s song “Cry” won a competition back in 2012 called the Oldie Composers Competition. This resulted in the song being recorded at Maida Vale studios with Anthony Head (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) on vocals and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd on percussion, along with an orchestral quartet and a gospel choir! That must have been an incredibly emotional experience for her. The full EP from the competition is still sold on iTunes, and all proceeds go to the Barnado’s charity.
Marina’s songs range from the traditional folk style of “The Tale of Marcy Borders” to the more modern indie folk of the beautiful “A Better Song”. I like that she doesn’t stick to one particular style, but explores her own talent, and does it so, so well.
I’m not sure what is coming next for Marina, but I will be paying close attention to her musical career, and really hope to see her live at some point. I can now predict that there will be tears, and that I will fall in love with her music again and again.
Listen to and contact Marina Florance here: