Video Premiere: Marlin’s Dreaming “Earnestly” feat. Erny Belle

Photo Credit: Chris Mauger

Here’s a gorgeous new single from New Zealand’s Marlin’s Dreaming.  Built on insistent percussion from Hamish Morgan and Oscar Johns’ warm bass, ‘Earnestly’ makes you want to slow-dance to its gorgeous tunefulness.  Particularly impressive is De Stevens’ weeping, sweeping slide guitar, almost like a third vocalist, complementing the voices of Erny Belle and Semisi Ma’ia’i.  Both singers possess dreamily smooth voices that blend perfectly.  The comination feels effortless.  Semisi says of the collaboration: “I met Aimee (Erny Belle) maybe a year or so ago through a friend (and live band-mate) Tiare; I’d been listening to Erny Belle’s album ‘Venus is home’ and absolutely loved (and still love) every song. Such great songwriting and story-telling – so to have Aimee keen to sing on this song just made me so happy. I couldn’t possibly imagine this song without Erny Belle singing on it.”  Indeed, the interplay between their melodic voices is what really elevates the song.  The band’s songwriting process has changed recently, beginning with acoustic guitar , which has felt authentic and has helped bring the melody to the fore: “For the past year or so, I’ve been writing a lot more on my acoustic guitar and I think that’s had a real impact on the kinds of songs we make as a band…Sometimes you write something, a chord progression or a melody and the rawness it has at its inception can be so moving, that you just want to do whatever it takes to retain that feeling. In this instance it was putting up some mics straight away & building the song around the acoustic and the melody.”

Frontman, Semisi Ma’ia’i, says that the song is a: “…play on a modern country ballad. There’s the traditional romantic back and forth between the two vocalists, sort of candidly conversing. But then there is the modern side of it, with the digital recording and full band production.  The song is basically about a dysfunctional relationship where both sides don’t seem to be completely aligned, but at the same time both sides are madly in-love with each-other. There’s a tongue in cheek element to it though, where both narratives are asking flowery, contemplative questions, but to no immediate avail. Each question is more less answered with another question, as if both sides are just as infatuated with themselves, as they are with each other.” 

The theme of dysfunctional love is also captured in the video, a moodily romantic visual directed by Semisi, who explains: “For the video I was into the idea of creating a slightly horrific country bar setting. I watched the film, ‘Blood Simple’, the first Coen Brothers film, and loved the way the characters and the bars scenes conjure up a kind of a physical revulsion.. Everything is so sweaty, dusty & imperfect.”  The video is full of contrasts, with longing looks, smiles, dancing and romance balanced by sweat and serious talk in a gloomy, dingy barroom setting.  Like life, there’s a mixture of emotions.

Marlin’s Dreaming have now managed over 20 million streams of their debut album ‘Lizard Tears’ – a great starting point to explore the band.  Look out for more new material this autumn.

About Andrew Frolish 1451 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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