Helen Marnie

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Helen Marnie
Helen Marnie 1.jpg
Helen Marnie at Ottawa Bluesfest in 2008
Background information
Origin Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Electronic, synthpop, new wave, dream pop
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Vocals, synthesizers, piano
Labels Nettwerk, Les Disques Du Crépuscule, Cobraside
Associated acts Ladytron
Website www.helenmarnie.com
Notable instruments
Korg Delta, Korg MS2000B

Helen Marnie is a Scottish musician, known as the lead vocalist and one of the keyboardists and songwriters of the electronic band Ladytron. In 2012, she started a solo career as Marnie and released her debut solo album Crystal World on 11 June 2013.


Helen Marnie was born in Glasgow, Scotland,[1] and grew up in the same city. She is a classically trained pianist.[2][3] Marnie studied classical piano at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.[4] She dropped out of university in Glasgow before going on to study music at the University of Liverpool, where she received in 1999 a BA in pop music.[3][4]

In the summer of 1999, Liverpudlian producers and DJs Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu met students Helen Marnie (through various DJ gigs)[5] and Mira Aroyo (through a mutual friend).[6] Sharing similar interests in music, they formed the electronic band Ladytron in the same year. Since then, Marnie has performed as the lead singer of the band, and also plays synthesizers and contributes to songwriting.

On 24 May 2012, her Ladytron band mate Daniel Hunt announced that he will produce Marnie's solo album in Iceland in August 2012.[7]

On 16 September 2012, Marnie set up a PledgeMusic account to help funding the making of her album.[8] The album was produced in 2012 in Reykjavík, Iceland by her bandmate Daniel Hunt in collaboration with the Icelandic musician Barði Jóhannsson.[9] Regarding her album, Marnie said that she wanted "to create an electronic album with more of a pop element and pristine vocals".[8]

Marnie shot her first solo music video on 30 April in Glasgow with a group of friends.[10] On 16 May 2013, she announced the cover and the title of the album, Crystal World.[8] On 29 May 2013, Marnie premiered on her official YouTube account the music video directed by Michael Sherrington for her debut single as solo artist, "The Hunter".[11]

Marnie released her debut album Crystal World on 11 June 2013. After PledgeMusic copies of the CD version were delivered in July 2013, Crystal World was issued to stores by Les Disques Du Crépuscule in August 2013.

Marnie marked Record Store Day in April 2014 with a limited edition 12-inch single, The Hunter Remixed, featuring mixes by Stephen Morris (of Joy Division/New Order) and Glasgow electro radicals Roman Nose, as well as the album version of the song plus a mix of Sugarland by Mark Reeder. The single was limited to 500 copies in clear vinyl. She also released the James Slater directed music video of "Hearts on Fire" in the same day.

On 9 September 2014, she premiered a new single titled "Wolves" from the upcoming second solo album, due 2015.[12][13][14] The song was produced by Jonny Scott and was be released on iTunes on 14 September 2014.[15] The music video was published on YouTube on 17 September and it was co-directed by Marnie and Michael Sherrington. On 18 April 2015 (Record Store Day), "Wolves" with a Marsheaux remix as a B-side was released on 7" vinyl as a limited edition (500 copies).[16]

In 2015, Marnie performed vocals on Bang Gang' song "Silent Bite".[17]


In 2015, Marnie started touring as a solo artist with a backing live band that consists of Emer Tumilty (synthesizers and backing vocals), Jonny Scott (guitar, synthesizers) and Peter Kelly (drums).[18][19]

Musical influence[edit]

Helen Marnie grew up with pop music like Whitney Houston, Belinda Carlisle, Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Bangles, Carly Simon, and ABBA.[2]

She claimed musical influences such as Kate Bush,[2][20] Maria Callas,[20] and Joni Mitchell.[20]


During Ladytron's live shows, Helen Marnie sings and occasionally plays one synthesizer. She played live the following instruments for the band:

  • Korg M500 Micro-Preset (604 tour);
  • Roland Juno 6 (Light & Magic tour);
  • Korg MS2000B (Witching Hour tour);
  • Roland Juno-G (early part of Velocifero tour);
  • Korg Delta (Velocifero, Best of 00–10 and Gravity the Seducer tours).

On her solo career gigs, she sings and plays a Korg Delta.



Main article: Ladytron discography
Studio albums


Studio albums
  • "The Hunter" (2013)
  • "The Hunter Remixed" (2014)
  • "Wolves" (2014)
Music videos
  • "The Hunter" (2013)
  • "Hearts on Fire" (2014)
  • "Wolves" (2014)


External links[edit]