Welcome to Hook & Reel, a series showcasing music that’s guaranteed to catch your ear.
We open to a familiar scene: you’re weaving through busy city streets on a shimmering summer Saturday, heading to a chic rooftop bar to meet your friends for some fabulous day drinking. The sun is gently warming your face and the cloudless sky is a sapphire blue. How could this day get any better?
Oh right, you know exactly how. You open your music app, scroll to a song – that song – and hit play. You sway slowly to the first few notes, and then that beat hits and you walk. Step by step, the world blossoms to life around you as you stride to the rhythm, and suddenly you’re the star of your own music video. You do a little twirl as you cross the street, side skip out of someone’s way, and lip sync for your life, a smile spread wide across your face.
Swedish pop starlet Marlene might have had that scenario in mind while she was fashioning the sublime and lush love song “Next To Me,” but even if she didn’t, it flawlessly fits the bill. One thing is certain though: the sparkling tune, which sits towards the middle of her whimsical and gorgeous EP Sweet (released June 9th), is made to top everyone’s summer playlists. Everything about the track feels like a big, warm hug, from the lavish synth line that purrs softly throughout the song, to the breathless, love struck joy that pours from Marlene’s voice with every lyric, to the absolutely adorable spoken-word bridge. “Next To Me,” along with the entire body of work that is her Sweet EP, perfectly positions Marlene as a singer/songwriter destined for superstardom.