The Hangman Tree artwork by Jess Swainson.
This week I popped a single CD into my computer to copy it over to my hard drive, pilule as I do with every music CD that enters my house. And then I played said single – wondering if I’d heard the name, Laura J Martin anywhere else before. It looked a bit folky and seemed a bit familiar. You know, there’s a lot of great Lauras doing the folky thang these days… Laura Marling of course, the under-rated country tinged songstress Laura Cantrell, the sweeter than sweet Laura Groves, of Bradford UK – and now there’s Laura J Martin.
Laura does melodic folk backed by an array of classical instruments: flute, mandolin, harmonica, xylophone and more: most of which are played by her own fair hand and mouth. She self produces most of her music; a deliciously catchy mix of folk, electronica and jazz influences. The Hangman Tree swings along catchily with girlish harmonies layered over a backdrop of hand claps and kazoos, but the B-Side of the single is totally unexpected: a playful cover of the popular Chaka Demus & Pliers tune, Tease Me, played with the languid sensuality that only a female can bring to the tune.
Now’s the day I should start doing single reviews I said to myself, or at least start to get a bit more on top of the flood of brilliant music that I listen to on a daily basis. And then I noticed who does Laura’s PR – none other than Cari, my brilliant ex earth editor (and right hand woman for the six months that she was here in 2009) who loved music so much she often moonlighted for that section of Amelia’s Magazine. Cari set up Superelectric PR a few months ago because she was so frustrated by the lack of exposure for unsigned acts like Laura J Martin despite plaudits from the likes of Rob Da Bank, who called her “musically gifted, addictive and sodding brave”. Cari has been blethering on about Laura J Martin to me for some time, (in a good way) and she wrote about her in this very blog back in December but it’s only in actually listening to the single that of course I see her point. So not only am I very happy to give a plug to Laura J Martin, but to Cari’s new venture. Check out her other act: Amber States. With bands like this Superelectric PR should get off to a flying start.
The Hangman Tree is released on Squirrel Milk (uh, what’s that pray tell? Do squirrels have mammaries? I suppose they must do…) as a download on May 24th 2010. You are also invited along to her launch party at the Duke of Wellington in Dalston on Thursday 27th May, where you will be able to get your paws on a limited edition yellow vinyl 7″. Facebook event here.
- Album review of The Hangman Tree and interview with Laura J Martin
- Live Review: Laura J Martin at the Lexington
- One to Watch for 2010; The Lovely Laura J Martin
- MYSTERY JETS ft Laura Marling – YOUNG LOVE
- Lightspeed Champion: TELL ME WHAT IT’S WORTH