Single Review: Martha Hill's 'Blindfold'
The word “Martha” can spark excitement in the North East music fandom for a number of reasons.
1# you could be a massive soul fan and you want to hear Martha Reeves and the Vandalls.
2# Martha are the sublime 4 piece power pop punk outfit from Pity Me Co. Durham.
Or 3# the fabulous musician, super talented and recent festival organiser Martha Hill, who’s collection of singles to date rank her highly within the scene itself and with this reviewer (Hi I am James, by the way).
Before we get into the music, which I know we are all here to talk about, I want to note that the artwork for this single is fantastic. The still is from the equally sublime video, where Martha is painted by some kind of wizard (because no brushes were used in the video…) in a fab use of colour and asymmetry.
‘Blindfold’ is the latest exciting slice of cake to feed our ears. Emphasis on vocal harmonies and layered vocal effects recall wonky pop outfits Tune Yards or Alt J.
With the heavy dose of sub bass that just hits you square in the face, this ballad takes on a slightly different tactic to the previous tracks. There’s lot of space in this moody downtempo piece.
I love the subtle sections of silence that draw you in, only to be broken by a finger snap.
The guitar work is perhaps more delicate than on her previous tracks, playing a wonderfully ominous and downcast riff and creating space through open strums.
The track’s production has the wonderful touch of building up and up with a more expansive sound after every play of the chorus.
Little elements of keyboards and drum rolls come and go, making the song feel larger as a whole, only for elements to then be dropped leaving just the impressive vocals. And what vocals they are! Martha has a unique voice that is authoritative and tender, while also being strong but mournful.
When bundled along with her lyrical perspective, these combinations are very special.
Women are Mint is Martha’s outlook, and she is a shinning a light of why it is so very true.
Martha I salute you in your endeavours. More Music please.