Duo Marian Hill, made up of Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongol, are back with their sophomore album Unusual.
Following the success of their explosive debut offering Act One, which includes their breakthrough single ‘Down’, we were very interested to see what Marian Hill were going to do with their next full-length release. It’s safe to say that the duo have exceeded our expectations, delivering a follow up which oozes pop, RnB, electronica and a sprinkling of jazz.
Unusual opens with ‘Subtle Thing’, which instantly hooks you in with its hypnotic vibe. If the abnormal beats weren’t striking enough, Samantha completely captivates with her ethereal vocals as she croons “It’s a subtle thing, when you look at me”.
A distinct electronic beat leads us into ‘Differently’, which was released earlier this year. The track sees Samantha questioning the end of a relationship whilst wondering if things could have gone differently.
Without missing a beat, we’re taken to the seductive vibe of ‘All Night Long’, which also features saxophonist Steve Davit, who has been an integral part of Marian Hill’s touring band. As Samantha sings “I’m lost in your movement, I feel like we’re fluid” in the pre-chorus, Steve then delivers a booming saxophone interlude which will make you stand up and pay attention.
‘Don’t Miss You’, whilst in keeping with the electro-synth sound, has an overall edgier feel to it. Samantha unleashes her fierce side as she looks back on a suffocating relationship before realising “I thought it through, I don’t miss you”.
‘Wish You Would’ truly showcases Jeremy’s exciting and innovative production. The track hooks you in with an irresistible beat which is unlike anything we’ve heard before. ‘Don’t Do It’ is also striking in terms of production, combining a deep, gritty string with a sweeping beat. The track is one of the most edgy songs on the album in terms of production, and Samantha adds to this with her breathy vocals.
‘Sideways’ begins in a stripped back manner, with Samantha questioning, “You always had me in the palm of your hand, I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again, why”. A light beat is then added to proceedings however, the track remains as an easy listening offering.
A seductive RnB vibe leads us to ‘No Hesitation’, with Samantha crooning “I don’t want your cool conversation, want to explore levitation, one, two, three – no hesitation”. The sensual vibe continues throughout the penultimate track, ‘Listening’. The song is laced with a sharp string melody which adds another dimension to the track, whilst the chorus is one of the most captivating on the album. Steve Davit also makes another appearance to give a vibrant, jazzy end to the song.
The final track is ‘Go Quietly’, which is the opposite of what Marian Hill are doing. Whilst the track begins on a sombre note, there is an infectious drop after the chorus which lifts the song perfectly.
Take a listen to Unusual below.
Unusual is the perfect title for Marian Hill’s latest body of work as the ten tracks are indeed laden with unusual melodies. The tracks are seductive yet funky, gritty yet vibrant, hypnotic yet raw. There is no doubt that these unique creations will imprint on your mind and leave you wanting more.
Marian Hill are the ultimate dream team, with Samantha’s heavenly vocals and Jeremy’s thrilling production proving to be completely irresistible. Our highlights are ‘Don’t Miss You’, ‘Don’t Do It’, and ‘Listening’, but the album deserves to be heard as a whole.
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