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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” (New York Times); her lyrics, “poetic, filled with imagery”
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. ‘I’m interested in the idea of happiness. Figuring out how to celebrate falling down and being a mess, fucking the wrong people, losing all your money, getting lost in a new place. Failing 99 times and still coming back to get it right on the 100th - if everyone’s watching, or if they don’t care. That’s the solution to the hardening of the world.”
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. ‘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, 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 and painful. I’ll never stop devouring. But I’m finally figuring out how to not get it twisted.’