Introducing his first album of mostly original songs, an ever-accessible Marc with a C delivers Thanatophobia – an eleven-track project of contemplative, intriguing and immersive expression, and it’s every bit as unexpected and likeable as you’d hope.
For an opening track, Half Of Everything leads with relentless hi-hats, apparent cowbell and contrasting electronic synth warping for an underwater vibe that gives Marc’s confronting, looping phrases all the more weight and fascination. We’re off to an unusual yet engaging start, and things continue down this route.
The album title refers to a fear of death or dying – seeming vastly relatable but actually more intense than the average person’s fear, and presented in a much less familiar but cleverly artistic, sometimes unsettling and otherworldly manner.
Things calm briefly for the lo-fi tones of It’s Never Too Late, the vocal is cleaner, not so lost within the chaos of the mix, and the melody has a kind of Horse With No Name appeal. Once again, the production surprises – stripped-back moments of retro keys bring in a home-made vibe, before the acoustic strum injects passion and an instantly catchy anthem that quickly promises an album highlight. And so we have it, a song that urges you to listen more than once – a personal favourite.
Thanatophobia in full seems to offer a deep-dive into the mind of the artist, the reflective contemplation of our protagonist in his role and journey within the world. Sometimes the issues seem trivial, simple, at other times they feel vast and overwhelmingly poignant. The balance works well.
Tracks like Friends List keep things light, pop-punk-esque in a nostalgic, not too heavy way. Then there’s I Am Not Happening To You, suddenly conceptually provocative, deep, revealing, and we connect with it all the more so because we were somewhat unprepared for this vulnerability. Another absolute highlight – the resolve is superb, addictive once again in its satisfying sense of evolution.
Other highlights include the rising anticipation and strumming pattern of No Kidding, vague enough to access and entertain initially. Informed Consent has a similar simplicity and begs for you to witness it in a live setting, the crowd drunkenly joining in for the progression of lines. At over eight minutes long, this one evolves with another unexpected twist of depth and surprise.
Lyrically, and atmospherically, I Don’t Wanna Hurt Anyone leaves a lingering aura that’s also well-received. And on a final note, You’re Gonna Have to Kill Me is an absolute tune, for lack of a more professional analysis – another personal favourite.
There are also two covers included, as is the Marc with a C way, and Till Death is a beautiful example. In every case, Marc proves the perfect leader, the indie alternative voice in lyric and tone, gifting a less common realm of artistry to confide in and connect with.