“Hello My Dear”: Marlin’s Dreaming Craft a Soul-Stirring Meditation on Home & Change, Time & Place

Marlin's Dreaming © Chris Mauger
Marlin's Dreaming © Chris Mauger
Putting the “dreamy” in Marlin’s Dreaming, the New Zealand band’s softly smoldering single “Hello My Dear” offers a soul-stirring meditation on home and change, time and place.
Stream: “Hello My Dear” – Marlin’s Dreaming




After moving to Auckland I wanted to capture the influence that the place I live in has on me

Marlin’s Dreaming open their latest single with a forlorn greeting.

Hello my dear,” frontman Semisi Ma’ia’i sings, his aching voice hot on the mic as guitars fill out a gentle tune in the space around him. “I must have drawn a blank. I’ve been awhile away for too long.” The words slip out of his mouth and into our ears with ease; he feels intimate, up-close and personal, yet there’s something keeping this from being an overtly warm welcome; deep thoughts turn to intense emotions that tug at Ma’ia’i’s soul, and in turn, our heartstrings, as he and his bandmates encase their audience in a blanket of emotionally charged sounds and red-hot reflections.

We don’t notice ourselves changing, but the world around us moves fast. Whereas some places – cozy small towns, for instance – stay the same, big cities turn over in the blink of an eye. Entire neighborhoods can grow new personalities in a heartbeat, meanwhile your childhood bedroom might remain forever as it was when you were a mere kid, still taking your first steps, with so much ahead. Putting the “dreamy” in Marlin’s Dreaming, “Hello My Dear” is a soul-stirring meditation on home and change, time and place. The New Zealand band paint a softly smoldering world of sound into which they dive headfirst, inviting listeners to join them in a moment of cathartic contemplation.

For this life is long, and full of change. Finding comfort in that change is in itself a skill we must constantly be relearning, just as our ancestors were constantly adapting to the environment around them.

Hello My Dear - Marlin's Dreaming
Hello My Dear – Marlin’s Dreaming
Hello my dear
I must have drawn a blank
I’ve been awhile away for too long
Hello my dear
I’ve fallen through the cracks
And it’s a world I do not know anymore
I’ll fly away
To a different place than I’m used to
I’ll try and hide
In a desperate way I’m lost

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Hello My Dear,” the stunning second single taken off Marlin’s Dreaming’s forthcoming fourth LP,  HIRL (out August 16, 2024 via Ditto Music). Following this past May’s lead single “Earnestly” (featuring Māori singer/songwriter Erny Belle), “Hello My Dear” is a cinematic, provocative, and all-consuming reverie. Marlin’s Dreaming – comprised of Semisi Ma’ia’i (vocals & guitar), Oscar Johns (bass), Hamish Morgan (drums), and De Stevens (guitar) – have long been standouts in the global indie pop scene, and their latest single is proof that their inner flame burns brighter than ever.

When it releases later this year, HIRL will be Marlin’s Dreaming’s first studio album in three years’ time (since 2021’s Hasten); the band consider their new record one of change, inner (and outer) transformation – tracking personal growth as well as their own physical movement, from their home territory of Dunedin to New Zealand’s bustling capital of Auckland.

“In a way the song and the album is a full circle moment for us,” Semisi Ma’ia’i tells Atwood Magazine. “We have left the more angular guitar aesthetic at the door and brought in a fuller, more highly produced sound that we first introduced with Lizard Tears back in 2017. Dunedin will always be home, but there’s a lethargy that comes with staying in a place a long time. After moving to Auckland I wanted to capture the influence that the place I live in has on me,”

“While some of the songs on the album keep us tied to that time in Dunedin all living and writing together, we started to find that many of the songs we had didn’t fit within the bubbly, fun pop-ness of the kind of album we wanted to write.”

Marlin's Dreaming © Chris Mauger
Marlin’s Dreaming © Chris Mauger

“Hello My Dear” addresses movement and change through an exploratory lens; one gets the sense that the narrator has been knocked off balance, and is yearning for a sense of belonging in a space that feels familiar, yet alien all at once.

I’ve broken in
To a world I don’t know
Oh I swear it must be it
Hello my dear
Your face has not appeared
For I’m mostly looking out for myself

Whereas the narrator may not feel comfortable – or rather, is striving to find comfort anew – “Hello My Dear” is as cozy as it gets. Marlin’s Dreaming are squarely in their element, coming to life with raw passion and musical heat to create a song that hits hard and leaves a lasting mark on both the ears and the heart. Stream the band’s new song and music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and ask yourself: What does it mean to find comfort in change? Can we ever breathe easy, when everything is constantly changing?

HIRL, Marlin’s Dreaming’s highly anticipated fourth LP, is out August 16, 2024 via Ditto Music!

I’ll fly away
To a different place than I’m used to
And I’ll try and hide
In a desperate way I’m lost
I’ll fly away
To a different place than I’m used to

— —

:: stream/purchase Hello My Dear here ::
:: connect with Marlin’s Dreaming here ::
Stream: “Hello My Dear” – Marlin’s Dreaming



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HIRL - Marlin's Dreaming

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? © Chris Mauger

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