We all have ancestors and roots that we might not have met but who still resonate into our everyday lives. On her latest single Marjorie Núria Graham is reviving the connection to her grandmother Marjorie, whom she never met. Chasing after her roots the half-Irish and half-Catalan singer travelled down the coastline of the island – the place where her grandmother lived before the artist’s more immediate family relocated to Spain. The album that emerged out of the young singer’s exploration of her family ties is named after her grandmother.
‘I think that lately I’ve been trying to connect with a part of myself I still don’t know very well, and for some reason Marjorie has a huge part in this. She passed away before I was born, and I’ve never lived in Ireland, so I think that there is a part of me that wants to re-discover my family there and who I am there, where I come from. I find there’s a lot of answers when you see things of yourself reflected in members of your family.’
‘The song Marjorie was born because I had the image in my head of her, waiting for my grandad to come back from the pub every night. She was there at the window looking down at the street waiting from him, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. In the past years I had a similar feeling. This stressful waiting in a romantic, but also very painful way. Now after writing about this, I find myself freed of this feeling. And to tell you the truth, I am at peace!’
The title track does not only see Núria Graham travel back in time to find peace, but also moving forward as a creative. ‘The way we worked in the studio is very different from the last record,’ she tells me about the making off Marjorie. ‘A lot of the songs on the record are composed on the piano. In the studio me and my co-producer Jordi Casadesús experimented with producing songs in a natural way. We realized that we loved the sound of a drum machine trough a “space echo” and we started from there.’ That explains the more electronically orientated flair of Núria’s latest release. Balancing retro style lo-fi production and forward-thinking drum pads, she rounds the composition of with her soulful vocals, which sound like they could be crackling through an old speaker of a moody bar mid-60s.
Slipping onto different characters
Traveling back in time also seems to be the premise of the minimalistic video to Marjorie, by Escafior Films, we’re debuting today. Somewhere by the coast, Núria Graham sits in an old-fashioned diner and peers out of the window, while a couple of elderly ladies struggle to place their order behind her. Between her dreamy gazes out into a landscape hidden from us, the singer looks directly into the camera as she sings the chorus. ‘I do write a lot about other characters, because I see parts of myself reflected in them. It’s easier to understand yourself sometimes if you make the effort to understand other people,’ Núria explains about the recurring main characters of the observational songs. Keep an eye and ear out for the release of the record this Friday!