On July 28, American-Chilean singer-songwriter Marilyn Hucek released the studio version of her latest single, “Man of the House,” an achingly beautiful song about stepping courageously into whatever it is that you may not feel ready for.
“Man of the House” is autobiographical, and the lyrics are deeply personal, giving audiences a glimpse into Hucek’s experiences of losing her father to early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
“The grass is tall / Chandelier still broken / But time moves on and I’m left hoping / You’d walk through the door,” Hucek sings, reflecting on the physical signs within their home of her father’s progressive illness, which began when Hucek was 16 years old.
The vivid imagery that Hucek paints throughout “Man of the House” is delicate, poetic, and poignant, and the honesty with which Hucek shares her story allows the song to speak to the human experience at large in a compelling way.
Hucek notes that she believes “Man of the House” to be among her best work yet (we quite agree), which makes it all the more ironic that she originally intended for the song to remain private as an ode to her late father.
“The first lyrics and melodies came to me during the time when I was thick in my feelings about it,” said Hucek. “I remember I was in my house working out, and mid-push-up, the chorus ‘I’m the man of the house now’ popped in my head. I held a plank and recorded a voice note of it.” The lyrics to the verse poured in soon after like the rushing feeling of letting go after trying to hold back tears.
It was only after she attended the NYU Songwriting Program that Marilyn Hucek felt called to finish composing “Man of the House” alongside co-writers Lila Holler and Nate Jawor. “It’s such a vulnerable and personal song that I almost didn’t have the willpower to release it let alone finish it,” she explained.
“In the program, they gave us a songwriting prompt as an assignment, and that’s when I thought my song would be perfect for it. I wasn’t really thinking about my connection to the song, rather I was trying to be a good student and accomplish the task.”
After presenting the final product to professors and fellow songwriting students, Hucek realized that “Man of the House” was too powerful not to release publicly. “I shared the song with several people, and some of them cried, or even walked out of the room in their feelings,” said the D.C.-based artist. “That’s when I knew the song was bigger than just me.”
Thematically, “Man of the House” seems to serve as a sister track to “Memories,” Hucek’s 2020 debut single. The song, which was written after her father contracted COVID-19 while living in the nursing home, captures the special moments that Hucek will remember for a lifetime.
Although the subject matter of “Man of the House” is heartbreaking, Hucek’s tender handling of the song allows it to feel equally affirming and empowering. When faced with a difficult situation, we can choose to shy away or take a leap of faith and face it with boldness.
To a stirring effect, “Man of the House” reminds listeners of the strength in vulnerability and the growth that comes with unexpected change. It is unequivocally a song that everyone needs to hear.
“Man of the House” is available now on major streaming platforms like YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.
Cynthia Gross is a freelance writer and award-winning spiritual pop artist based in Maryland. With more than a decade of experience as an executive ghostwriter, she understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
When D.C. venues were ready to reopen after COVID-19, indie pop duo GLOSSER was ready to perform. The two, Riley Fanning and Corbin Sheehan, formed the band pre-COVID out of a shared aesthetic vision and passion for music storytelling.
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