Helen Marnie

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Helen Marnie
Helen Marnie 1.jpg
Helen Marnie at Ottawa Bluesfest in 2008
Background information
OriginGlasgow, Scotland
  • Vocals
  • synthesizers
  • piano
Years active1999–present
Associated actsLadytron

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. Her second solo album, Strange Words and Weird Wars, was released on 2 June 2017.[1]


Helen Marnie was born in Glasgow, Scotland,[2] and grew up in the same city. She is a classically trained pianist.[3][4] Marnie studied classical piano at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.[5] 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.[4][5]

In the summer of 1999, Liverpudlian producers and DJs Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu met students Helen Marnie (through various DJ gigs)[6] and Mira Aroyo (through a mutual friend).[7] 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 would produce Marnie's solo album in Iceland in August 2012.[8]

On 16 September 2012, Marnie set up a PledgeMusic account to help fund the making of her album.[9] The album was produced in 2012 in Reykjavík, Iceland by her bandmate Daniel Hunt in collaboration with the Icelandic musician Barði Jóhannsson.[10] Regarding her album, Marnie said that she wanted "to create an electronic album with more of a pop element and pristine vocals".[9]

Marnie shot her first solo music video on 30 April in Glasgow with a group of friends.[11] On 16 May 2013, she announced the cover and the title of the album, Crystal World.[9] 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".[12]

After some delays, 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" on the same day.

On 9 September 2014, she premiered a new single titled "Wolves" from the upcoming second solo album, initially planned for release in 2015.[13][14][15] The song was produced by Jonny Scott and was released on iTunes on 14 September 2014.[16] 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).[17]

In 2015, Marnie performed vocals on Bang Gang' song "Silent Bite".[18] In 2016, she collaborated with the musician RM Hubbert on the song "Sweet Dreams".

On 24 January 2017, she released the first single titled "Alphabet Block" from the forthcoming second solo album, Strange Words and Weird Wars.[19] The second single, "Lost Maps", was issued on 30 March and its music video, a day later.


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).[20][21] She performed songs from her solo career and from Ladytron's back catalogue. Marnie and her live band played in Lima (Peru) and Santiago de Chile (Chile) so far.

Musical influence[edit]

Helen Marnie grew up with pop music like Whitney Houston, Belinda Carlisle, Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Bangles, Carly Simon, and ABBA.[3]

She claimed musical influences such as Kate Bush,[3][22] Maria Callas,[22] and Joni Mitchell.[22] She also mentioned artists like Bat for Lashes,[23] MGMT,[23] Fairport Convention,[23] Serge Gainsbourg,[3] Grimes,[10] and Chvrches[10] as her favourites.

Personal life[edit]

Helen Marnie was married in 2011. Near the end of 2012 she moved back to Glasgow, after living in London for more than a decade.[5][24][25][26]


Helen Marnie live at the Arches, Glasgow, 2011

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

On the early part of Witching Hour tour, Ladytron used to name their four identical Korg MS2000B to be easier installed on stage. Her MS2000B keyboard was named Cleopatra.[27]

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


Helen Marnie in Mexico 2011


Studio albums


Studio albums


  • "The Hunter" (2013)
  • "Wolves" (2014)
  • "Alphabet Block" (2017)
  • "Lost Maps" (2017)
  • "Electric Youth" (2017)


  • "The Hunter Remixed" (2013)
  • "Lost Maps Remixed" (2017)

Music videos

  • "The Hunter" (2013)
  • "Hearts on Fire" (2014)
  • "Wolves" (2014)
  • "Lost Maps" (2017)
  • "Electric Youth" (2017)



  1. ^ "Marnie - A Badge Of Friendship".
  2. ^ "Interview: Ladytron's Helen Marnie - The Skinny".
  3. ^ a b c d Hodgkinson, Will (4 December 2002). "Home entertainment: Ladytron – Culture – The Guardian". London. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b "The University of Liverpool: Insight Autumn 2006 – PDF page 11" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Album with sci-fi sheen marks a new beginning – Herald Scotland".
  6. ^ "3/29 – Ladytron – 'Best Of: 00 – 10'". Nettwerk Press Blog. 14 February 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Videovision: Ladytron interview". 2002. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  8. ^ Daniel_IV_ (24 May 2012). "Just confirmed that I'll b". Twitter. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  9. ^ a b c "Marnie: New Album". PledgeMusic.
  10. ^ a b c "An Interview with MARNIE – The Electricity Club". Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Marnie – Shooting my first ever solo music video tomorrow with a..."
  12. ^ "Marnie – The Hunter (Official Video) – YouTube".
  13. ^ "Marnie - Timeline Photos".
  14. ^ "WOLVES by Marnie Official on SoundCloud - Hear the world's sounds".
  15. ^ "Wolves: A Short Conversation with MARNIE - The Electricity Club". The Electricity Club. Archived from the original on 14 January 2015.
  16. ^ "iTunes - Music - Wolves - Single by Marnie".
  17. ^ "Official website of the independent record label Les Disques du Crépuscule founded in Brussels and associated with Factory Benelux".
  18. ^ "[LISTEN] Bang Gang - Silent Bite :: Indie Shuffle".
  19. ^ "Marnie — 'Alphabet Block' - Popjustice".
  21. ^ "The VPME – LIVE REVIEW – MARNIE – Hebden Bridge Trades Club – 27/6/15".
  22. ^ a b c "biyl – Interviews: Helen Marnie (Ladytron)". Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  23. ^ a b c "An Interview". Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  24. ^ "Five Questions For Ladytron " The FADER". Thefader.com. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  25. ^ "Interview: Ladytron's Reuben Wu – Shanghai – Shanghai Blogs Blog – City Weekend Guide". Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  26. ^ "Marnie update - October, 2012". PledgeMusic.
  27. ^ "Artist Details". Korg. Archived from the original on 2 January 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2012.

External links[edit]