Free-rocking Connecticut trio Magik Markers set for UK tour
- Fiona Shepherd
- 16 September 2014
The noisy threesome arrive endorsed by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo
Since forming in 2001, free-rocking Connecticut trio Magik Markers have made an indelible (ahem) impression. Their white noise assault, stream-of-consciousness lyrics (recitations of the Periodic Table being an early theme) and chaotic live performances place them in a tradition from the Velvets through Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo which finds no contradiction in combining pop melody with experimental freak-out riffola.
Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore has been a consistent champion since inviting them on tour in 2004, releasing their debut album I Trust My Guitar, Etc on his Ecstatic Peace label. His bandmate Lee Ranaldo, meanwhile, produced their subsequent album, Boss. The group remains resolutely independent in approach. Singer / guitarist Elisa Ambrogio and drummer Pete Nolan met while travelling in Europe and ended up sharing a house together back in New England, drafting in Ambrogio’s childhood chum Leah Quimby on bass to perform house concerts and record a steady stream of lo-fi CD-R and tape releases.
Side projects and collaborations abound. Nolan also drums with Jandek and helms another group, Spectre Folk, while Ambrogio has played with Six Organs of Admittance and is poised to release her debut solo album, The Immoralist. Three became two when Quimby left a few years ago – either to try her hand at a career in ventriloquism or run an apple orchard on Prince Edward Island, according to whichever likely fictitious report you read – but became three again when she returned to the fold just in time for Surrender to the Fantasy. This, their first album in four years, was released late last year and quickly hailed as their most focused release yet.