Nile Marr, son of the Smiths' Johnny Marr, shares “liberating” new single, Only Time Can Break Your Heart

Nile Marr
(Image credit: Carolina Faruolo)

Nile Marr has dropped an upbeat new single titled Only Time Can Break Your Heart, taken from his new two-track seven-inch, How We Drift.

Marr, son of Smiths legend Johnny Marr, described the track – which was recorded at a home studio situated in an abandoned mill – as “liberating”, and said How We Drift is the product of “writing the kind of songs I’ve always wanted to write”.

As you’d expect, there is some gorgeous guitar work – the layered acoustic guitars and electric guitars carry the track with a breezy feelgood personality, which is later souped up by an airy solo that flexes Marr’s keen ear for some fretboard adventuring.

Marr’s self-professed inspirations for the song can also be deciphered from the track. Perhaps most apparent are those jangly, chime-y guitars from the chorus/verse transitions, which have an openness reminiscent of The La’s There She Goes.

"The threat of being kicked out by developers is real so I’ve been trying to make as much music as possible," Marr explained. "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,” he continued. “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’s premiere musical turnout of the year is his first new solo material since his debut album, 2020’s Are You Happy? In recent years, Marr has also occupied himself by touring with Hans Zimmer and featuring on two of his father’s albums: The Messenger (2013) and Playland (2014).

Johnny Marr has been equally busy. Last year, he announced his new solo double-album Fever Dreams Pts 1-4two EPs and eight tracks from the project have already been released.

Nile Marr’s Only Time Can Break Your Heart is available now on Bandcamp.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.