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MARTHA

The Smashing Pumpkins

ATUM

    ATUM is a rock opera presented in three acts by inimitable American rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. The album tells an epic interplanetary story set in the not-too-distant future, though the songs themselves respectively stand on their own in the Pumpkins pantheon. This is the final installment in a concept album trilogy, which began with 1995’s Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness and then continued with 2000's Machina/The Machines of God. The album features three original members of the band - William Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin - as well as longtime guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Corgan had been developing the idea for the rock opera for years, and the pandemic gave him the time off the road to meticulously complete it in the grandiose way he had intended.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Atum
    2. Butterfly Suite
    3. The Good In Goodbye
    4. Embracer
    5. With Ado I Do
    6. Hooligan
    7. Steps In Time
    8. Where Rain Must Fall
    9. Beyond The Vale
    10. Hooray!
    11. The Gold Mask
    12. Avalanche
    13. Empires
    14. Neophyte
    15. Moss
    16. Night Waves
    17. Space Age
    18. Every Morning
    19. To The Grays
    20. Beguiled
    21. The Culling
    22. Springtimes
    23. Sojurner
    24. That Which Animates The Spirit
    25. X Ray
    26. Pacer
    27. In Lieu Of Failure
    28. Cenotaph
    29. Harmageddon
    30. Fireflies
    31. Intergalactic
    32. Spellbinding
    33. Of Wings
    34. Audio Story

    Martha

    Please Don’t Take Me Back

      Durham indiepop-punks Martha return with their fourth album, and it might just be their best one yet. With their endlessly radiant hooks dialled up to maximum setting, paired with another heart-rending and relatable lyric sheet that reflects on the universal scars of the pandemic years, Please Don’t Take Me Back is the work of a band in the form of their life. It’s also an instant classic - one that’s both smartly prescient and warmly addictive. Recorded at Nottingham’s JT Soar by ‘Bad’ Phil Booth (The Cool Greenhouse, Rattle, Grey Hairs), Please Don’t Take Me Back is a timely collection of deliciously catchy pop songs about ‘resisting the feeling that the good days are behind us’.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Beat, Perpetual
      2. Every Day The Hope Gets Harder
      3. Please Don't Take Me Back
      4. Irreversible Motion
      5. Baby, Does Your Heart Sink?
      6. F L A G // B U R N E R
      7. Neon Lung
      8. Take Me Back To The Old Days (Reprise)
      9. Total Cancellation Of The Future
      10. I Didn't Come Here To Surrender
      11. You Can't Have A Good Time All Of The Time

      Martha

      Please Don't Take Me Back

        New 7” from Durham indie, pop, punks Martha! ‘Please Don't Take Me Back’ is a song about refusing to let rose-tinted glasses distort your visions of the past. The b-side features a rough and ready cover of 'My Heart is a Drummer' by beloved Australian/English indie-pop legends Allo Darlin, who Martha supported at their first ever London gig back in 2012. Recorded at JT Soar, Nottingham. Produced by 'Bad' Phil Booth and mixed by Phil along with Rich Collins and Rob Newman Mastered by Dave Williams.




        TRACK LISTING

        Please Don't Take Me Back
        My Heart Is A Drummer

        Funny thing about kicking: it’s one of the first and last things we do. In the womb, a fetus kicks to announce an immanent arrival. Meanwhile, laid out on a stretcher, the dying man is “still kicking” up until his final moment, when the last thing he kicks is the bucket. All through life we take our kicks: teenage kicks, modern kicks, kicks in the gut. These days, with the worldwide rise of fascists, demagogues, abusers, and hypocrites, the kick we feel most often comes while we’re down.

        From their sudden and deliberate first chord on Love Keeps Kicking, beloved British punk collective Martha announce their intent to kick back. Across 11 tracks, these daughters and sons of Pity Me, England, show that, while our world might be in spiral, there is still plenty worth fighting for. In many ways Love Keeps Kicking is a breakup record, with each song inhabiting different parts of the process. “This year blew my world apart” sings guitarist/vocalist Daniel Ellis on album opener “Heart is Healing.” With lush vocal harmonies (and one of the best riffs in Martha’s discography) “Healing” explores the uncomfortable period between love’s end, and when the heart is ready to move on.

        Elsewhere, the opening chords of “Orange Juice” (arguably the best song Martha have written to date) echo the kicking of it’s narrator’s heart, as they suddenly realize with fearful clarity that their longtime relationship is ending. “I didn’t know it then, but you were falling out of love with me / It’s a new development in the plan / a painful change in circumstance,” Nathan Stephens-Griffin sings, wringing out the imminent meaning in each word. Ending just as it begins, “Orange Juice” is Martha at their most heartbreaking, hitting a tender, bittersweet, middle ground between Paul Westerberg and the Pastels as Stephens-Griffin confesses “I don’t know what to do now.”

        But while many songs are openly about romantic breakups, most could just as easily about the pain of seeing the world swing dramatically towards the far right. As Pitchfork noted in their glowing review of 2016’s Blisters in the Pit of My Heart, Martha explore the “intersections of reality and emotionality.” For a band whose identities are political whether or not they want them to be, daily life in 2018 is often a kick in the teeth. On Love Keeps Kicking, this vulnerability becomes one of Martha’s greatest strengths. Again and again, the band lovingly gives voice (all four voices) to lives lived on the edge: institutionalized children (“Mini Was a Preteen Arsonist”), outcasts (“Wrestlemania VIII”), lovesick demonologists (“Love Keeps Kicking”), and feminist sci-fi writers (“Lucy Shone a Light On You: The Ballad of Lucy Connor Part II”). These are the people Martha celebrate, reminding them (and us) that love might not be there now, but it’s still kicking.

        Maturity in punk is often code for “boring”. Sometimes that’s true, but if Love Keeps Kicking illustrates anything, it’s the importance of growth in a stunted world—of knowing how to love what you have, and how to celebrate the loves you’ve lost. Martha have already made a case for themselves as this generation’s Buzzcocks (if not this generation’s Clash), and with Love Keeps Kicking fans will likely find themselves discovering even more about the band to love. Because even if the world’s going to shit, love keeps kicking.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Channelling the spirit of late 90's skate/pop-punk Matt and I have been rinsing a bit of late, Martha have a singular talent of bringing the chord sequences and progressions of American frontrunners firmly into British territory with a wry, anglican wit and a warmingly Northeastern accent. Snappy drums and soaring, fuzzy thrashed guitars condensed into three-minute bursts of energy and optimistic glee.

        TRACK LISTING

        SIDE A
        1. Heart Is Healing
        2. Sight For Sore Eyes
        3. Into This
        4. Wrestlemania VIII
        5. Mini Was A Preteen Arsonist
        6. Love Keeps Kicking

        SIDE B
        1. Brutalism By The River (Arrhythmia)
        2. Orange Juice
        3. The Void
        4. Lucy Shone A Light On You
        5. The Only Letter That You Kept

        Martha Wainwright

        Goodnight City

          Martha Wainwright releases a wonderful new studio album, ‘Goodnight City’, on [PIAS]. It’s the follow up to her acclaimed 2012 release ‘Come Home To Mama’.

          ‘Goodnight City’ features 12 brand new songs produced by Thomas Bartlett (Surfjan Stevens, Glen Hansard) and longtime producer Brad Albetta. It recalls the emotional rawness of her debut album, much of it encapsulated by the captivating lead track ‘Around The Bend’ and her extraordinary voice.

          “Making ‘Goodnight City’ was the most fun I’ve had in a long time,” Martha admits. “Thomas (keys), Brad (electric / bass), Phil Melanson (drums) and I would sit in a circle and work out arrangements for these vividly different songs. Recording them live with very few overdubs the focus remains on the integrity of the song and our ability to play together as a band.”

          Martha wrote half the songs on the album while the other half were written by friends and relatives: Beth Orton, Glen Hansard, Rufus, Wainwright, Michael Ondaatje and Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs.

          “Because these writers know me and because I was able to personalise these songs by changing things here and there, I made them feel as if I wrote them myself,” Martha explains. “Somehow they wonderfully reflect my life and I am so thankful to the other artists for writing them.”

          ‘Goodnight City’ was recorded in Montreal. Last year Martha and Lucy Wainwright Roche released ‘Songs In The Dark’ as the Wainwright Sisters.

          TRACK LISTING

          Around The Bend
          Franci
          Traveller
          Look Into My Eyes
          Before The Children Came Along
          Window
          Piano Music
          Alexandria
          So Down
          One Of Us
          Take The Reins
          Francis

          Steve O'Donoghue

          Martha

            A singer-songwriter from Hyde who sounds like Roddy Frame doing Beatles' ballads. Add a little Ray Davies realism and maybe a touch of Haircut 100's strum-a-long pop and you've got a real talent. Like a blast from a golden indie past, these are cracking songs full of love, hope and rejection. Excellent.


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