Music / Features
Track by Track:
Alex Marko - Tranquility
Words by Josh Hicks
Tuesday 24th November, 2020
Alex Marko’s debut release Tranquillity is an exploration of the ambience of nature and space - layered with sounds of gentle waves or birds chirping alongside myriad acoustic and electric guitars, and crafted to bring about a presence of calm and balance.
The Mornington Peninsula based artist Alex Marko has emerged with his entirely instrumental EP mixed with sounds of nature recorded by Marko from around his local area. Marko, also the guitarist of neo-soul band Velvet Bloom, like many Victorians, was challenged by the extended lockdowns and his inability to socialise or perform. Marko used this as an opportunity to take stock of what was around him, the beautiful surroundings of his home. With a heavy focus on mental wellness and the healing qualities of nature, all profits from the EP are being donated to headspace Australia.

Finding a sense of peace in a world turned on its head, Marko’s Tranquility brings you back to your body, grounding and soothing you. 'Oliver’s Creek' lulls the listener into a warm state of contentment, very much like an afternoon nap under a tree after a lunch with family and friends. 'Waikiki', as the name would suggest, inspires visions of Hawaiian luaus, palms trees, piña coladas and crystal blue oceans. ‘From My Windowsill’ incorporates the sounds of rain pattering on rooftops with ambient synth textures and a haunting piano, creating a dreamy, mystical atmosphere. ‘Memories’ feels like a softer reprieve before the final track ‘Moonlight’, a gentle piece featuring insect chirps, acoustic guitars and a slide guitar lead.

Alex Marko has done us the pleasure of talking us through Tranquility track by track.
Oliver’s Creek

‘Oliver’s Creek’ is actually the first song I’ve ever fully written and recorded by myself, and is my personal favourite track from the EP (I think). Like all songs on the EP, this song is more so trying to convey imagery and a feeling rather than a message or a statement. It’s based on the only note-worthy natural reserve that was within my 5km radius during lockdown, called Oliver’s Creek. The sounds of the birds chirping and the flowing creek were recorded there and represent most of the scene I was trying to depict in this song.


Ah, ‘Waikiki’, definitely the more gimmicky number from the EP… it’s about one of the things that sounded most appealing to me throughout lockdown, a warm, sunny beach. This song came about while playing guitar after listening to Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii album. It actually took me the longest time to get this one sounding right, I think I attempted to record it four different times. The sounds of the waves crashing were recorded at Point Leo beach, down on the Mornington Peninsula after the 5km radius was lifted.

From My Windowsill

‘From My Windowsill’ is based off the feeling of falling into a daydream. Structurally, this song was the hardest to arrange because of its slow rise in dynamics. The narrative of the lead piano part took me probably three days to get right. I wrote this song one day when I was struggling for ideas and I was watching the rain through my window. I remembered I had these chords that I’d written a while ago that I called my ‘procrastination chords’ because they’d usually send me in to some sort of day dream. As soon as I played it I wanted it to be on the EP. Personally, I see this song representing a reminiscent day dream of family and friends, and the feeling of helplessness that I think everyone has probably experienced while in lockdown.


This is a bit of a bonus track for the EP. Originally, there was only going to be four tracks but luckily I had enough time to record this one. ‘Memories’ is sort of like an epilogue for ‘From My Windowsill’ in a way. It’s an idea that I’d written a while ago as an extended piece to a Simon and Garfunkel song but sort of assumed I’d never use it for anything so when I realised that it would sound nice coming out of ‘From My Windowsill’ I was pretty excited that I’d found a use for it!


‘Moonlight’ is the very last song on the EP and it’s the oldest of the bunch. I wrote this song when I was about seventeen after listening to Mississippi John Hurt and watching way too many ASMR videos on Youtube. There was this one video I found that had lots of crickets chirping in the background. When I played the guitar to the sounds of chirping crickets, it inspired the idea that resulted in this song. I think it’s a nice sentiment that ‘Moonlight’ is the last track on the EP because it was the first song that I’d ever made in this style!

Tranquility is out now through Flo Creative Events - head here to stream and purchase the EP, with all profits are being donated to headspace.