REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Maribou State's 'Portraits' Immortalizes Consistent Satisfaction

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

The Hertfordshire duo that make up the ethereal electronic sound of Maribou State release their debut album, 'Portraits', on 1st June, via Counter Record, coming after a number of well-received EPs since their formation in 2011. Given the positive attention they have received so far, the stakes for Portraits to be a brilliant record were high, and 'Portraits' meets these expectations,  if not exceeding them.


Opening with the laid back "Home", Maribou State position themselves as masters of a sun-soaked sound. "The Clown", featuring previous collaborator Pedestrian, picks up the pace a little and is somewhat reminiscent of their 2012 EP 'Native'. Even so, at just two tracks in, it is clear that the pair behind Maribou State, Chris Davids and Liam Ivory, have established a unique and matured sound in 'Portraits'.

"Rituals" is multi-textured and fun, where the rest of the record is more chilled out. On "Steal", Holly Walker returns with her distinctive vocals that featured on the brilliant single, "Tongue". Compared with "Tongue", "Steal" demonstrates fully how refined Maribou State have become. "Steal" contains itself until just over a minute, with a brief hint of the climax that will return fully realized later on in the track.

"Wallflower" comes midway through the album and has a special sun drenched charm to it. "Say More", with vocal contributions from Jono McCleery, builds itself up, and demonstrates the emotive qualities that set Maribou State apart from being any other electronic music makers.


"Raincoats" takes Maribou State as far from the association of sunny weather that demarcates their sound in its title only. Whilst Holly Walker returns to feature on "Midas", which is noticeably much slower than "Raincoat", yet thoroughly delightful. "Natural Fools" is particularly reminiscent of Maribou State’s 2013 EP 'Truths' but, as has been said about "Steal", it just goes to confirm how far Maribou State have come. It’s a wonderful track and "Varkala" perfectly rounds off the album with its ethereal charm.

It is hard to pick a favourite track off of Portraits because the quality that Maribou State achieves shines throughout. It’s a consistently satisfying album, and as the weather picks up, it’s all the more delightful.

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Words by Ellie Brown