On Bandcamp for Sol, Sam Marca states, “I can’t really sing.” I have to respect that brutal honesty and have to say his self-assessment is correct. He really doesn’t have a good singing voice but he manages to get away with it because the music itself is quite good on occasion as is his delivery.
His recent release The Flower Swing contains twelve marginal electronic compositions that as far as I can tell are completely vacant of organic instrumentation. The beats are thick and run deep. He layers arpeggiated synths, pads and other recognizable virtual instruments.
Some of the songs miss the mark completely while others are oddly compelling in an Xiu Xiu type of way. He kind of has this sing/talk style that is covered in a good amount of distortion. Marca often sounds like he is completely sleep deprived and operating off a couple of Xanax.
The album opens up with “Vacation” which reminded me of a demo you might hear from Panda Bear. He sings, “I'm going away on a holiday” with as little enthusiasm as possible, as soft synths cascade around the frequency spectrum.
“Past Lives” is a wrist-slitting song that makes “The Eternal” by Joy Division seem like a dance track. The lyrics are ambiguous. He sings, “past lives housewives negative lies it's been so long.” The next song “Gonzo” is more dismal and depressing. Lyrics like “life in a coma don't want it over just out of this coma” are almost comically depressing.
Other tracks like “Lovely Spatial” and “The Catch” are hard to endure. His greatest achievement is “Odour’ which he sings in a monotone-like style. If Marca hopes to be more than a hobbyist he still has a lot of hurdles to get past. Fans of Xiu Xiu and Joy Division may find something worthwhile within some of these tracks.
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