Dark folk / prog artist Marjana Semkina (Iamthemorning) streams new single / video ‘Pygmalion’ 

Sirin album out 31st May

Album guest features include Jim Grey (Caligula’s Horse) & Mick Moss (Antimatter)

photo – Kate Demina

Progressive dark folk artist Marjana Semkina has unveiled ‘Pygmalion’, the second single taken from her new solo LP, Sirin (out 31st May 2024), along with a dark music video. Available for pre-order via Kickstarter, the highly anticipated Sirin album impressively hit its fundraiser goal within 24 hours of launch.

Produced by Cinebuds, watch the lyric video for ‘Pygmalion’ here: https://youtu.be/-g3KYRQZ8Pc

Pre-order Sirin here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marjanasemkina/sirin?ref=49nm49

Marjana comments on the single: “Pygmalion is somewhat of a modern and much darker take on the Greek legend of a man that makes a statue and falls in love with it. In the song, a lot more damage is done – the protagonist murders women and creates a perfect wife for himself. The song is a metaphor for relationships that leave you in pieces and all alone, trying to repair the damage done by someone who tricked you into thinking that they cared about you. The video plays around a similar theme but as a dedication to my ex, it has a much more gratifying ending.”

Known for her work as the vocalist of prog duo Iamthemorning, self-exiled Russian Marjana has forged a successful solo career with two critically acclaimed solo releases: her 2020 debut solo album Sleepwalking, and 2021 follow-up EP Disillusioned. Like its predecessors, Sirin is a journey of dark stories and fairy tales, told with Marjana’s uniquely captivating voice, on a foundation of detailed musical arrangements. However there is a prevailing darkness and grief, inspired by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the first single about by the protests.

On the album Sirin, she continues: “Sirin is a mythical creature from ancient Slavic mythology, half-bird half-woman, she’s a harbinger of bad luck and death, and it’s believed that if you meet Sirin a big catastrophe will happen – except in case with the events surrounding this album it’s already happened. Sirin cries and mourns for humankind, and nothing can be more appropriate in this day and age. Sirin is one of very few creatures that can travel between worlds – a world of gods of light, a world of dark deities (in some versions an alternative to the underworld) and a world of mortals. This felt appropriate because the album is quite diverse in sound and some might think parts of it sound happy, but the subject matter is almost always quite morbid, which creates a contrast that I enjoy.

“I was never very political and I always tried to keep my art within the realms of lore, literature and imagination. But when events like the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine happen, it is impossible – and I’d even say, unforgivable – to stay silent and do nothing. Thankfully being based in the UK I feel rather safe speaking out against the current regime and I do have a platform that I can use to try and show the world that Russians disagree with the actions of the Russian government, and there are so many of us that only wish for this to be over. I’m just trying to show it in the most artistic way I can muster.”

Now permanently based in the UK, Marjana has been an active campaigner against the Russian occupation in Ukraine and has raised thousands of pounds via her activities to support the victims of war. She will continue her work, including selling a number of a limited run of handwritten lyrics from Sirin, with the money going to Ukrainian charities. Acts punishable by 15 years imprisonment should she return home.

Marjana is joined by an array of world class musicians (detailed below), which includes two very special guest vocal performances from Jim Grey (Caligula’s Horse) and Mick Moss (Antimatter).

Marjana has previously collaborated with many incredible artists, including The Flower KingsJordan RudessBlackbriar,as well as Anna Murphy with their Maer project. Combined with her work in Iamthemorning, her experiences have enabled her to become one of the most unique and exciting solo artists in the progressive world today. 

Recording musicians:
Grigoriy Losenkov – piano, bass guitar, synths, drum programming
Vlad Avy – electric guitar, synths, drum programming
Keli Guðjónsson (Agent Fresco) – drums 
Charlie Cawood (Mediæval Bæbes, Knifeworld) – acoustic guitar, bouzouki, glockenspiel, hammered dulcimer, luiqin, guzheng
Liam McLaughlin (Sithu aye, iamthemorning) – electric guitar
Margarita Chernyshevskaya – 1st Violin 
Petr Chepelev  – 2nd Violin 
Julia Uliashcenkova – Viola 
Julia Romashko – Cello 

Marjana Semkina online:

Sirin track list:

01 We Are The Ocean
02 Lost But At Peace   
03 Anything But Sleep (feat. Jim Grey)           
04 Pygmalion
05 Angel Street           
06 Gone           
07 Death And The Maiden (feat. Mick Moss)  
08 The Storm  
09 Swan Song  
10 This Silence This Dreaming


Disturbingly Good


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