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  • Bryon Harris

Marla Mase - '8:30'

Review by Abby Kenna & Staff

“8:30” by Marla Mase is a scenic song, transporting listeners into another world full of quiet observations and dreamy breezes.

The song opens into tranquil soundscape, with floating strings melodies lilting in one corner, while crisp drums reverberate in another. Marla Mase’s voice is enchanting as it enters the mix - both whispery and full. It contrasts the warmth of the walking bass line and bright, brassy tones of the soloing saxophone. Her elegant lyrics complete the dream-like quality of the track, melding in with the ease of the instrumentals and her tone to paint an otherworldly picture:

“Sitting in the grass

Under the moon (shine)

Beneath the city stars

Feel the breeze from the trees

They’re taking care of me…”

“8:30” is both timeless and a time capsule. The smooth, sultry jazz tones transcend the confines of genre, living in their own unique space. There are touches of 90s easy-listening amongst 80s synths, as well as hints of modern drums. Yet the lyrics add a clear timestamp to the song’s setting, especially within the spoken word section, as subtle references to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found:

“At this time all masks are down

Well some are down anyway

We’re more real now than we’ve been in a long (long) time…”

By incorporating elements unique to this unparalleled time in quarantine, Mase has created a snapshot of an era within “8:30”. The lyrics are introspective, setting the scene of the pandemic while digging deeper beneath the surface to compose phrases that only someone who has lived through this time can embrace. Combining the poignant lyrics with the contrasting leisure of the track, “8:30” offers a glimpse at the duality of this era, and how the world lived in a state of constant anxiety and community.

“8:30” is a unique portrait of pandemic living, and Marla Mase has artfully captured both the serenity and surrealism of that time in her lyricism and smooth musicality.


About Marla Mase

If there’s a qualification to be a modern day renaissance woman, Brooklyn’s Marla Mase checks all the boxes – writer, actor, musician, raconteur and above all, a magnetic performer.

A long time beacon of artistic innovation on the New York music and theatre scenes MarlaMase’s vision is informed and illuminated by her gritty poetic activism. She has performed to rapturous audiences from the Bowery to Beijing and has had her plays/rock operas performed at the legendary La Mama Eperimental Theatre Club, NYC Summerstage, SXSW to name a few.

Along with triumphant tours in China, Europe and the United States, Marla received a ‘Messenger of Peace’ Award from the Friends of the UN for her visionary work as a songwriter and performer.

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Connect on Facebook. Stream on Spotify.

For more information, please visit Marla's website.



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