When your dad has been declared by NME to be a “Godlike Genius” and you’re named after Nile Rodgers, you’ve got a lot to live up to. Nile Marr could easily have used a different surname but one look at Nile Marr and you’ve no doubt who his father is – he’s got the same eyes as his father, Johnny Marr. Thankfully, Nile lives up to the reputation that’s gone before him, and his latest single, ‘Only Time Can Break Your Heart’, is well worth a listen.
Nile Marr’s career has gone up by numbers. He started as a solo artist, then formed a duo with American singer-songwriter, Meredith Sheldon. Following that, he began the trio, Man Made, with drummer Scott Griffiths and bassist, Callum Rogers. Their sound engineer, Dan Woolfie, later became tour manager for Blossoms. Man Made released their debut album, ‘TV Broke My Brain’ back in 2016, comprising songs they’d written over a period of 8 years.
Marr added acoustic guitar and backing vocals on 7 Worlds Collide’s 2009 album, ‘The Sun Came Out’, and he’s appeared on two of his father’s albums, ‘The Messenger’, in 2013, which saw him play as a soloist, while on 2014’s ‘Playland’ he provided backing vocals.
Additionally, Marr has toured extensively with German film score composer and record producer Hans Zimmer.
Nile Marr released his first solo album in 2020, ‘Are You Happy Now?’, which was preceded by the single, ‘Part Time Girl’, in 2019, and the title track followed in June 2020.
He dropped the EP, ‘Still Hearts’, in April 2020, with the title track as its first single, and additionally the songs ‘Hush’, and ‘The Pusher’.
With a distinct Tom Petty vibe, ‘Only Time Can Break Your Heart’ is both nostalgic and melancholy at the same time, and also nods to The La’s and Big Star with its jangly guitar and airy vocals. The track was recorded in the studio he built in an abandoned mill, during lockdown. There’s a sense of urgency in the song, that’s reflected by Marr’s real life experience:
“The threat of being kicked out by developers is real so I’ve been trying to make as much music as possible,” Marr explains. “The pandemic helped me refocus my life and prioritize what I felt was most important, writing the kind of songs I’ve always wanted to write”.
“‘Only Time Can Break Your Heart’ is me doing The La’s, Big Star hell, even Tom Petty (cue Wayne’s World ‘we are not worthy’). Bands that made me want to write songs when I first heard them as a kid. It doesn’t have to be shouty, it doesn’t have to be loud. It’s singing because I like it, it’s melody because I like melody. It’s liberating.”
Marr has released the track as a 7″ single, along with the more rocky track, ‘How We Drift’, which can be bought here.