‘Marnie’ From Bay Area Rockers China Is A Retro Sounding Track From A Retro Sounding Album

‘Marnie’ is taken from the album, ‘And Then Nothing Happened’, from San Francisco Bay area based folk-rock band, China. A retro sounding track that would easily find a home on the soundtrack of an wild west themed film or TV series. The album is set for release on 22 Febuary, via Royal Oakie Records.

China comprise singer-songwriter Michael James Tapscott, as well as bassist/songwriter Jeff Moller, Jacob Aranda on guitar, and Ralphi Gottesman on drums. Their sound is a hark back to the sound of the 60s, it’s a very Haight-Ashbury style, reminiscent of the likes of Neil Young, The Band, and The Byrds. In fact, ‘Marnie’ really does sound a lot like ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ – it’s airy and drawl-y, calling on an age when technology wasn’t so much a part of everyday lives as it is today.

There’s another reason for this sound. Producer David Glasebrook recorded the band in the studio, directly onto analogue tape, and using the same vintage MCI console at Muscle Shoals, that’s seen recordings from Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, and Cat Stevens. He encouraged the band to play around with their sound; he used additional external instrumentation in order to instill a distinct character to the songs, giving them an olden-time, classic feel. Any of the tracks from ‘And Then Nothing Happened’ could have come from The Great American Songbook, and ‘Marnie’ is no different. This is certainly helped by the accompanying music video, which has been shot in an old hotel dating from the late 19th century, using subdued colouring. The song itself is about a love from the past that’s never been forgotten, despite the singer having moved on with his life.

You can find China online on Bandcamp, Facebook, and Spotify. Pre-order ‘And Then Nothing Happened’ here. Watch the video for ‘Marnie’ down below:

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com