Vinyl LP, Cassette
For the past 5 years, Marta Cikojevic has played keyboard in the Montréal-based band TOPS, a group known for their catchy and thoughtful indie pop. On her self-titled debut album, produced and written with TOPS bandmate David Carriere, Cikojevic emerges spotlight-ready, helming delightful pop songs, replete with syncopated guitar patterns, lush, layered backing vocals, and feverish drums. On Marci, feeling good reigns paramount, and each track finds new ways to inspire pleasure.
The album’s singles “Immaterial Girl” and “Entertainment” signpost its infectious energy, both dominated by funky basslines and plucky riffs. On the anthemic, disco-inspired “Terminal,” Cikojevic sings of a moody night out, and being overcome by the pleasure of hearing that one perfect song: “Into the evening/ With my demons gonna have a ball/ I gotta move into the groove,” letting the hook fade out to a shimmering and insistent chorus of “Feel like dancing…” “When Love Had Just Begun” is a shimmering ballad lamenting forsaken love and on “Deeper Shades of Blue” Cikojevic sweetly espouses positivity, singing, “Surrender/ Whatever hurts inside, you’ll find a way/ It’s never too late.” The warm Rhodes piano employed throughout the album has a soothing, almost ASMR effect, each press of the keys calmly satisfying.
The album summons the spirit of the ‘80s, at various points recalling Tears for Fears, Sade, and Pretenders with its dreamy vocals and fuzzy synth lines. But Marci remains distinctly contemporary, and slots nearly alongside similar albums by artists like Caroline Rose or Shura: distinctly danceable, quietly emotional, and wrapped up in jubilant confidence. A triumphant debut, Marci takes hold of the senses, summoning the slick rub of skin on a dark dance floor, the tingle of ocean salt spray, or the laughter of your closest friends coming from the next room.