Single Review: ‘Dark Waters’ by Mahrnie

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Image courtesy of Mahrnie

London-based French singer songwriter Mahrnie is keen to make an impression with her new single, ‘Dark Waters’. But the question is this: does she stand out?

Having always had a keen interest in music from the age of 5 (according to the email she sent us anyway), Mahrnie worked as an actress in Paris before making the move to London. There she studied singing and started to write her own songs. Since then she has focused her attention on the electro pop genre, aiming for what she calls a “cinematic mood” (whatever that means) in her songs, and has now worked with several Grammy award winning producers as well as receiving regular airplay.

So what does all this come to show in her latest effort, the new single ‘Dark Waters’? Well, it shows that what she means by “cinematic mood” is: “I sound a bit like Enya, but more obviously electronic”.

Now, personally I like Enya, and I don’t mind a bit of the old New Age gimmick swirling around in the musical landscape of a song, but I need to ask myself: is there anything new or noteworthy happening here?

If I am to be brutally honest I would have to say no.

But ‘Dark Waters’ is by no means a terrible song – it is well produced and it does not apologise for being a big, epic swish of reverbed “oooh”s and “aaah”s. In that regard I cannot fault this single, because Mahrnie is at least trying to be honest in her musical expression by attempting to create an evocative composition. In that regard I do think she succeeds; ‘Dark Waters’ is an enjoyable four minutes of easy listening vibes to have caressing your lobes whilst sitting cross-legged in your sunny conservatory, joint in hand, whiffs of barbequed haloumi wafting in through the open windows. But other than that…?

Would I crank this up in the car if it came on the radio…? Would I stop what I was doing if it came up on my shuffled Spotify playlist…? Would I request for this to be played during my final moments on my death bed…?

… Okay, look, no I would not – to any of those, really – but this is not a terrible song, as I have already said. If it were a 50p download from Bandcamp or something then I would contemplate purchasing it, and I would certainly find it relaxing in my more stressful moments, but overall it is not anything to get that excited about.

The instrumentation is pop-y and simplistic, but Mahrnie’s vocals are gentle; unassuming. They are a piece of the overall art, lulling the listener into a state of total sonic relaxation.

I would definitely go and check this single out on her SoundCloud page (https://soundcloud.com/mahrnie) and maybe even give her a like on Facebook too (https://www.facebook.com/mahrnie), but overall Mahrnie’s ‘Dark Waters’ is hardly the next ‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie. Although apparently Bowie thought Lorde was “the future of music”, so what the hell do I know, huh? 5/10