Beautifully constructed guitar pop.
Label: Fortuna POP!
Released: 8th July 2016
Martha, hailing from Pity Me, near Durham (which is an Actual Place) want to talk about staying punk in the midst of generational pressure to survive under the weight of the uncertainty and disappointing prospects of late capitalism – and all whilst committed to life in a band. But don’t worry, they’re extraordinarily optimistic about it.
Whilst it’s tough to explore that constant struggle between life and art in the space of one record, Martha have managed it with their impossibly catchy, punk-tinged indie. ‘Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart’, the follow up to 2014’s ‘Courting Strong’, is a scrappy summertime romance of a record, combining the garage-punk energy of The Thermals with the ramshackle charm of Los Campesinos!
From chaotic opener ‘Christine’ to 90s-influenced pop banger ‘Chekhov’s Hangnail’ (featuring Trust Fund’s Ellis Jones) Martha masterfully build harmonies and whirlwinds of summery guitar lines whilst discussing topics ranging from 19th-century anarchists in ‘Goldman’s Detective Agency’ and love in an unlikely supermarket setting.
Plagued by anxiety, ‘Do Whatever’ is the anthem for the punks holding down day jobs. Bassist and vocalist Naomi Griffin asks, “Hey sunshine, don’t you want something more? I know, I know that I do.” Even in these bleaker moments, the band maintains defiant. ‘St Paul’s (Westerberg Comprehensive)’ is a gentle heart tug reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian at their most poetic; an understated story of love and queerness in a Catholic school.
It’s here at this intersection of political punk and whimsical indie, with beautifully constructed guitar pop, that Martha sit so confidently. ‘Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart’ manages to highlight the fun, the passion and the adventure to be found in this ridiculous life we call punk; never succumbing to the mundane. Kristy Diaz