Martha // In Short

martha

They are vegan. They are straight edge. They are Martha. Hailing from a town called Pity Me from Durham, the four-strong group trade in a unique brand melodic punk pop that celebrates uncertainty, fear and loneliness – all while exuding a joyous excitement.

Formed in 2011 by siblings Naomi (bass/vocals) and Nathan Griffin (drums/vocals) along with J. Cairns “JC” (guitar/vocals) and Daniel Ellis (guitar/vocals), the band draw their name from the last passenger pigeon on Earth, called ‘Martha’. When she died the whole species became extinct. Chirp on that.

And just like the tragic tale of the winged Martha, there’s darkness lurking beneath the guitar-wielding Martha’s happy-go-lucky sound. Just listen to ‘Gin and Listerine’ from their debut Fortuna Pop! album, Courting Strong, with its impressively melancholic yet hopeful vibe. There are also songs about teenage antics, drinking, courting and having your heart broken – all qualities that every good indie record should have. The album, produced by MJ from Hookworms, is awash with harmonies and duelling vocals while still retaining the energy and excitement of the band’s live shows.

Decamping from the North East to record the album at Suburban Home Studios, Leeds, the band enjoyed the freedom of being in the studio and experimenting with MJ’s equipment to produce unexpected sounds. The process saw them opening up to new ideas and, feeling more confident in their own abilities, allowing a wider range of dynamics.

Now go hear for yourself. The band is playing Fortuna Pop’s Winter Sprinter. From January 6th to the 9th, it will see 12 bands from the label’s roster rock The Lexington stage, making it the perfect antidote to the post-Christmas blues. And while Martha still looked in fine feather, we asked JC the important questions:

If I had to describe our music in 3 words, I’d use…
Anarchist Anxiety Pop

My favourite film ever is…
The Black Power Mixtape (or Let The Right One In)

The most famous person I’ve met is…
Tony Benn

The song I hate the most is…
Anything written/performed by Tories

The worst job I’ve ever had is…
Serving vol-au-vents to vivisectionists

If I was in a tribute band it would be…
Fleetwood Chunk (Fleetwood Mac & Superchunk covers)

My favourite word is…
Citalopram

If I had a super power I’d want it to be…
The cure for baldness/eye-contact incineration

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…
Durham Miners Association Headquarters

I think you should listen to…
Chrissy Barnacle

If I could see anyone play live it would be…
The Exploding Hearts

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Martha play the Fortuna Pop! Winter Sprinter 2015 with Evans the Death and Fulhast on January 8 at the Lexington