The name Mara TK holds a rarified weight of reverence amongst many discerning music fans. Hailing from Aotearoa (New Zealand), his group Electric Wire Hustle gained cult-like status with a string of releases that shifted neo-soul’s potential. With an ethos that paralleled the likes of groups Sa-Ra Project and Spacek, yet with a sound uniquely that of their own, they defined an era for those searching for something more forward-thinking in the purview of underground soul, beats and electronica. It was Mara’s brilliant songwriting and saintly vocals that often accentuated their impressive output.
With news that will make many giddy with excitement, the Maori-Scottish musician with a golden voice is back. Coming via London’s globe-connecting label Extra Soul Perception and YGB Records, Mara TK has announced his debut solo album ‘Bad Meditation’: a thirteen-track opus with deeply personal reflections on heritage, love, loss and healing. The album attests to an artist that has mastered his craft, and signals his maturity at building songs with both equally provocative and affecting results.
Leading with a double A-Side single ‘Highly Medicated’ & ‘Toroa / The Albatross’, the former is described as a “melancholic lament”. Mara opens up about his journey to heal following the death of his grandfather, who was his link to traditional customs in Aotearoa. This song glides easy at the pace of highly personalised themes, a quality found in all soul music done well. Beautifully composed, psychedelic guitar riffs circle around his delicate vocals to ethereal effect. An emotional piece with stirring lyricism and sweet harmonies, this is one that stays with you beyond the first listen.