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Marilyn Carino’s musical saga began in Brooklyn, NY in the form of Mudville, a duo that produced three critically-acclaimed post-trip-hop-electro-jazz albums. As the singing and songwriting half, Marilyn inflamed and stunned, praised as “Nina Simone coming back from the dead to front Morcheeba (Rhapsody)." her voice, “powerful to the point of bringing you to tears” (Straight No Chaser) and “smoldering” (The New Yorker); her music, “enchanting - a testament to the healing powers of rhythm” (Nylon); the songs about “troubled longings and bleak, surreal visions” and lyrics, “poetic, filled with imagery” (New York Times).
Moving on to her 2011 solo album, Little Genius and 2015’s Leaves, Sadness, Science (featuring ‘War and Peace’, co-written and guested on by REM bassist Mike Mills), the music went spare, sexy and thick, her voice an affecting instrument with an elegant grittiness; soaring above violent organs and chunky beats, smoky-dark production, and themes that dig for hope.
She left the states for good after a UK tour in 2016, when a week in Scotland called her back to stay. 'America is a beautiful doomed place of naïve hope and cynicism. A teenage beauty who cuts herself. Scotland is a busty loudmouth who’s always good for a kind word and up for your next extreme escapade. That’s the crowd I’ve always wanted to mix with’.
City Songs is a reckoning of sorts - each of the seven songs a crystallisation of the cities she’s known; Brooklyn, London, San Francisco, Atlanta, Edinburgh, Glasgow. The songs retain the spare grit production and lush vocal textures of her previous work, and confident, poetic lyrics that paint riveting landscapes of her experience of each city's essence. ‘It takes a long time to get to know a city, what it’s about. Exactly like a person. I have lived in cities my whole life, they offer too many choices. I’m a Taurus, I just consume everything I can’t say no even when I’m full to bursting, or too high, or clinging to an obvious narcissist. But I’ve realised so many things, that’s what’s in these songs. Now looking back I sincerely love it all, even what was disappointing. I won't stop devouring. But I’m finally figuring out how to not get it twisted.’