Maybe I’ve got a bit soppy because I’m feeling a bit sad and fragile but Mereba’s haunting electro-ballad hits me right there. Especially its lyrics.
I first heard it at the end of Paul Schrader’s severely underrated film Master Gardener that came out earlier this year, for which it provides an emotional soundtrack to the closing titles. I sat through them all to find out who sang this song.
Marian Mereba, who grew up in Philadelphia the daughter of two university professors, first came to attention with her 2018 debut album The Jungle Is The Only Way Out.
She had already released a couple of acoustic EPs in a folk-soul vein, accompanying herself on guitar, after moving South to study and spending a year in her father’s home country, Ethiopia, after leaving college in Atlanta.
Recording her first album, whose songs have an interlinked theme of racial violence and intersectionality which ties closely with Schrader’s film, she was mentored by Stevie Wonder who has performed with her.
Her second album, Glock Peaceful, imagines a world where there are no cops and no guns and everything is not anarchic but peaceful. So she’s a bit of an idealist, and all the better for that.
And if you haven’t seen Master Gardener yet… do.