Single Review: Martha Hill's 'Wallflower'
Martha Hill is one of those musical voices that demands attention.
Despite having busked all across Europe from the age of 17, her roots are firmly entwined into the North East, and we're lucky to have her as part of our music scene.
After first hearing her demos on Soundcloud some time ago I was left feeling very impressed, but even now after hearing this new single, it's clear to me that she’s continually growing in leaps and bounds.
The artist has supported the likes of the wonderful Let’s Eat Grandma, the awesome Maximo Park and the sweet Mahalia so clearly the world is waking up to her potential.
This fact was realised in the wonderful response to her debut single 'Spiders', a track that I thought was really something special as I’ve had it on repeat since its release…
'Wallflower' however is a different beast when compared to its moody, spacey and poppy predecessor.
Starting in a similar lo-fi fashion, the track then crashes you over the head with robotic post-punk drum machines and, what sound like, horn squeals in the chorus. This combination is undeniably powerful and the “Hey" backing vocals are really nice touches.
There are also Gothic sounding synth pads throughout, giving the track a subtle haunting quality. Having the confidence to feature these sections alongside guitar and vocals in such a detailed song like this speaks of an artist that knows what she is doing.
Martha isn't done with the surprises just yet however as, following one of these sections, we get the Middle 8 which changes things up once again. Totally unprepared for this change, the bass hit me first and then the dense vocal layers brought a whole new level of emotion and passion.
Meanwhile, the little fuzz on the guitar gives the track a distinct texture and the handclaps are another lovely addition that serve to elevate the track; it's all these details that really make it special.
With regards to lyrics, ‘Wallflower’ is a song that is very much tongue in cheek while it touches on its subjects of conformity and social anxiety. Martha’s vocals throughout are filled with so much character, you can tell when she’s smirking and when a bit of anger creeps in.
All in all, a sublime vocal performance that is much more nuanced than many tracks coming out nowadays.
If you are a fan of St Vincent, you’ll love this. If you like the work of Nadine Shah, you’ll like this. If Jane Weaver is up your alley, check this track out!
Martha, you are awesome.