Following the success of four highly-praised albums with Iamthemorning, the lyricist, singer and co-songwriter Marjana Semkina releases her spellbinding debut solo album, Sleepwalking on 14th February 2020 through Kscope. The album will be released under an alternative spelling – Mariana Semkina.
Characterized by her composed and unique voice, complex melodic lines and poetic lyrics with literary references, Semkina has often compared favorably with Kate Bush. The new material draws from the Iamthemorning soundscape but exists fully in Marjana’s world; a compelling mixture of alternative folk, pop, drama, beauty, and emotionally purging lyrics.
Marjana explains the motivation behind releasing a solo album “It wasn’t my plan to ascribe any profound meaning or concept to creating Sleepwalking, its purpose was more personally therapeutic, it was supposed just to help me get through some dark times, and at the end of that period in my life I found myself, not only renewed but with a collection of songs that were too personal to release under any other name other than my own.”
She continues “I wanted to use Sleepwalking as a way to translate emotions in the most sincere and unrefined way. No sugarcoating, no filters, just creative, honest thought caught in the moment. Turning those dark times and feelings into pure creative energy, something beautiful, something that has a purpose”
Sleepwalking is a musical blend akin to the darker folk of Aldous Harding, Marissa Nadler, Sumie and Florist. To aid her vision for Sleepwalking, Marjana invited renowned keyboardist, drummer and bassist Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Craig Blundell and Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson), as well as the St. Petersburg Orchestra “1703” and frequent collaborator Vlad Avy.
Marjana is teasing fans with a glimpse into what to expect with this trailer featuring four songs from Sleepwalking – “Am I Sleeping Or Am I Dead”, “Invisible”, “Turn Back Time”, “Mermaid Song” and “Still Life”.
The stunning album artwork makes reference to Semkina’s love for classical art, unifying photography with the 17th-Century Vanitas movement; “I am a big lover of classical art, and with this cover, I wanted to create some sort of a unity between medium of photography and the Vanitas art movement, a genre of still life painting. The paintings of the genre usually contain collections of objects symbolic of the inevitability of death and the transience and vanity of earthly achievements and pleasures; it exhorts the viewer to consider mortality, which is extremely close to where this album came from.”
1. Dark Matter 2. Am I Sleeping Or Am I Dead 3. Turn Back Time 4. Ars Longa Vita Brevis 5. Invisible 6. Lost At Sea 7. Skin 8. How to Be Alone 9. Everything Burns 10. Mermaid Song11. Still Life
Release date February 14, 2020
Marjana Semkina – vocals, backing vocals, lyrics
Vlad Avy – guitar
Grigoriy Losenkov – piano (1, 4, 7, 8, 10), keyboards (2, 5), bass guitar (8, 9)
Svetlana Shumkova – drums (8, 9)
Jordan Rudess – piano (11)
Craig Blundell – drums (3, 7)
Nick Beggs – bass guitar (3, 7)
St.Petersburg Orchestra “1703”
(Санкт-Петербургский Оркестр 1703)
Vocals recorded by Mark Knight
Guitars on all tracks & drums on 8 & 9 recorded by Vlad Avy
Drums on 3 & 7 recorded by Craig Blundell
Bass guitar on 3 & 7 recorded by Nick Beggs
Bass guitar on 8 & 9 recorded by Grigoriy Losenkov
Strings recorded by Fedor Naumov at LenDoc Studios, St.Petersburg
All songs were written by Marjana Semkina
String arrangements by Grigoriy Losenkov
All songs arranged by Vlad Avy, Grigoriy Losenkov, Marjana Semkina
Except 2, 5, 8 (Grigoriy Losenkov) and 3, 6 (Vlad Avy)
Produced by Vlad Avy, Grigoriy Losenkov, Marjana Semkina
Mixed & mastered by Vlad Avy
Cover photography by Eggor Kree,
Booklet photography by Maria Yureva
Construction of curiosities by Doppelgangerart