Album Review: Marsicans ‘Ursa Major’

Releasing their first single in 2014, Marsicans have been around for long enough to know their craft inside and out. Their debut album Ursa Major will satisfy both fans of the West Yorkshire four piece and anyone unfamiliar with them: the indie-pop drenched album has proven itself to be well worth the listen.

Beginning with a calm opening, ‘Introduction’ may not have been the opening fans expected. However, it isn’t even 30 seconds later that Marsicans explode into the true first track of the album, ‘Juliet’ – a song about singer James’ worries about where the band might be going and if they’ll ever make it. Confident and charming, it’s an impressive start to the album discography of the band.

‘Summery In Angus’ is a prime example of Marsicans’ musical style. Quick, well thought-out guitar riffs mixed with harmonic vocals and a tight drum beat to tie it together. A perfect instance of what indie music can be and the four piece do it so well. The track is already emerging to be a fan favourite, and it’s clear why – it ties in the nostalgia of previous records with a slightly new sound.

The band then choose to break up the album with the first interlude of three, giving the listener a moment to reflect on all they have been listening to. Following the interlude is the track ‘Evie’. A new sound for Marsicans, the guitar is more psychedelic and wavy than what fans of the band have known. This is no bad thing as the band churn out another great song in this different style. Showing the bands dexterity to change up styles, ‘Evie’ is one of the strongest tracks on the album.

Marsicans then slow the tempo of the album with a slower-paced, melancholy song; ‘Someone Else’s Touch,’ a track which holds a lot of emotion from the mournful guitar to the thoughtful lyrics about losing love and having to move on. A peaceful song amongst an otherwise upbeat album.

A truly relatable track, ‘These Days’ speaks about anxiety while socialising: a problem most, if not all, people feel. The song still maintains an upbeat, summery feel despite the more troubled topic. The feel-good sound of the guitar and the clean drums juxtapose the topic of the lyrics, and the overall feel of the song – especially the hypnotic sounding bridge – ensures another strong track on an impressive first album.

Interlude two features a humorous poem before making way for the punchy track ‘Can I Stay Here Forever (pt. II).’ One of the last singles released before the album, the song earns it’s place amongst all the other songs and stands out as a personal favourite on the album. A rare seen heavy side of the band, it’s sure to become a festival favourite with hard hitting beats and a chorus you want to shout along to.

The final interlude is a little guitar and keyboard riff that ushers you into the last section of the album. Beginning the end of the album with ‘Blood In My Eye’, another slower track on the album, it shows the depth and range of the band once again. Rounding off the album is ‘Should’ve Been There;’ a folksy sounding send off to Marsicans’ impressive first studio album.

Ursa Major perfectly captures the bands indie roots while letting them also experiment. You really can tell this is a passion project by four guys who just enjoy playing music; who love writing and performing for themselves and their fans.

Ursa Major is available to buy and stream now, through Killing Moon Records on all major platforms.

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