MARJANA SEMKINA – “Sleepwalking” (2020)



Review by Warren Mayocchi

For those familiar with iamthemorning the voice of Marjana (pronounced Mariana) Semkina will be a familiar pleasure. With “Sleepwalking”, the rest of the world once again has a chance to be introduced to the difficult emotional themes threaded through the lyrics and expressed with mystical vocals. Together with delicately powerful musical backing there is a weave brilliantly strung together on each album iamthemorning released. It is continued with this solo endeavor. The lyrical content is grim, it constantly embraces sadness, death, regret. Some examples are: “I was alive / At least I tried / The dreams that never came to life / don’t matter […] In time, with peace /  I will find release / The soil will cover me / With moss and flowers”, “We’re stuck in between / Of all that could have been”, “The pain is deep / I feel it in my sleep”, “You can’t get away from yourself / No matter how many bridges you cross […] My suffering is my way to atone / For all of the endless bridges I burned”.

Perhaps these lines are too depressing, especially for the ones who have never been to the dark places. Why listen to such things? The lyrics are in stark contrast to the way they are delivered – a beautiful contemplation of voice joined with piano and strings. Each song sparkles with the peaceful illumination of new sunlight spreading over a classical spring day. There is an innocent wonder apparent in the music which you would not guess from the lyrical content. This is on purpose I suspect, exposing the dark places to scrutiny is probably healing for the poet and the listener, exposing them with such directed artistry amplifies the entire experience. “Still Life” (video), “Turn Back Time” (video), and “Everything Burns” (video) have music videos which allow a viewer to sample “Sleepwalking”. My favorite, is “Turn Back Time” for the visual idea, however for those seeking a more active video consider “Everything Burns” as it features Marjana and has an awesome ending.

A question which might be asked is why a solo album? Particularly if the content is quite similar to that which you will find with the music of iamthemorning. There is a good reason explained on Marjana‘s Patreon site. In summary, this solo project is to help meet requirements for one of Marjana‘s longer term musical career goals. In our world it is rare to find musicians with whom listeners can connect in everything they do, if Marjana Semkina is this way for you, check out the Patreon project.

Rating – 93/100


  1. Dark Matter
  2. Am I Sleeping Or Am I Dead
  3. Turn Back Time
  4. Ars Longa Vita Brevis
  5. Invisible
  6. Lost At Sea
  7. Skin
  8. How To Be Alone
  9. Everything Burns
  10. Mermaid Song
  11. Still Life


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