Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Marina Allen has released the single “Or Else” from her forthcoming second album, Centrifics (out September 16 on Fire Records). 360°Sound had a chance to catch Allen’s solo set at Hotel Vegas in Austin, Texas during SXSW in March 2022. We were wowed by her vocal chops and evocative songwriting, so we decided to interview her. In that exclusive Q&A, Allen talked about her background, influences, songwriting, and more.
In a new Fire Records press release, “Or Else” is described as a “personal notebook of revelations on relationships” that could pass for a “soulful Laura Nyro outtake.” It could pass for a standout Fiona Apple tune as well, especially the parts Allen sings in a high register.
Recorded in L.A. in 2021 and 2022, Centrifics is being touted as more joyful, funny and focused than Allen’s debut, the seven-track mini-LP Candlepower. Produced, engineered, and mixed by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Cohen, Centrifics is a full-length LP with 10 songs and features performances from Cohen, Logan Hone, Jonny Kosmo, Emily Elhaj (Angel Olsen), and Jasper McMahon, among others.
“I went into writing Centrifics knowing I wanted to give myself permission,” Allen said in the press release. “I was fed up with hiding myself and a fierceness started to enter the songs, which I leaned into. The entire time I was writing, I just kept saying ‘yes,’ that was my only rule. In a way, these songs became a bridge for me to get to the other side and so Centrifics became aspirational. I threw the stone into the ocean as far as I could and then figured out how to swim to it. Instead of trying to get it perfect, the album works as a ladder to confront and hoist myself over all the hurdles, walls, setbacks and suffering. In that way, imagination became a tool I desperately clung to rather than a place to recede.”
Centrifics will be available on CD and vinyl. To pre-order, click here.