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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Canadian Singer-Songwriter Christina Martin To Launch Her Long Anticipated Latest Album 'Storm'

By Stevie Connor.

Canadian singer-songwriter Christina Martin is launching her long-anticipated latest album, the compellingly titled Storm. Riding on the wave of four varied and vigorous singles, Storm is Martin’s most ambitious release yet.

Crafted meticulously over many years, it shows Martin at her most majestic, boasting anthemic hooks and lavish orchestral strings. Yet it’s also a deeply personal piece, wearing its heart on its sleeve. It guides us down the long winding road to recovery - taking Martin’s own experiences and making them exquisitely relatable. Aptly named, Storm is a whirling, grandiose beast that’s bombastic, beautiful, traumatic and triumphant all at once.

“The songs are reflections of the storms I’ve experienced in my life - trauma, loss, fear, and through trial and error finding gratitude through transformation, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. So, I guess it’s about healing, the never ending work of learning how to love, let go, recover, and be open to new things.”

Storm is an album of reflections. Of looking back on past experiences, the joys and the trauma, and taking that all in. Musing on all those emotions and memories, swirling inside your mind like the eponymous tempest, and accepting those experiences as they come. As part of who you are. And as such, Storm is one of those wonderful albums that has a progression. It flows symphony-like from one track to the next, penduluming between the furious and the fragile, stepping and stumbling like the road to recovery itself, right up to the courageous resolution.

Business begins at a pace, with the energetic opening number Little Princess, one of the album’s rockier tracks with a prominent guitar and an earlier single. It acts as the Storm’s overture, introducing us to the album’s twin central pillars of lush orchestral arrangements and Martin’s heartstring lyricism. The prominent use of sweeping strings (a new trick for Martin, borne of collaboration with Karen Graves and Dale Murray) give the whole album a unique and graceful quality, lending things a real cinematic gravitas and a suitably evocative canvas for Martin to paint her lyrical portraits. In the case of Little Princess, Martin’s lyrics deal with childhood, even making use of her childhood poetry, and the influence of her older brother. Confessional and pensive, it’s elevated from a rock ‘n’ roll toe-tapper to something altogether more thought-provoking.

From here, the album rushes on like a rising wind. Second track Stay With Me, also a single, sees the orchestral arrangements really let loose, rising rhapsodic around Martin’s equally impassioned vocals. Martin describes this track as “the song that motivated the album” and it certainly feels like Storm at its purest. Martin sings about the desperation for connection, adrift in a sea of negative thoughts and modern day distractions, and framed against the most sublime musical backdrop.

In Control follows, another single, and lends proceedings a darker, duskier edge. Sashaying between major and minor tones to a pounding, relentless backbeat, this song grapples with addictive tendencies and injects some anxiety into the album’s mood. The subsequent sunny tone of Some Days acts as the perfect counterweight, musically demonstrating the ups and downs the song discusses. As Martin sings, “it’s part of the deal”.

The title track, Storm, functions as the album’s centrepiece. Opening on just distant synths, songbird vocals, and echo-drenched piano chords, it’s an arresting oasis of calm. As if Martin herself were playing piano in the eye of a tornado. Crescendoing across its four-minute-forty runtime, it uses those sumptuous bittersweet strings and a blistering lead guitar from Dale Murray to really crank up the scale, reaching truly rip-roaring heights by the close. Martin repeats the simple refrain “Storm, thank you for coming along” over and over - a technique she utilizes several times over the album - part chorus hook, part self-reassuring mantra.

As we leave the eye of the storm and press on through Storm we meet more weird and wonderful reflections. Inside the Mirror is another dark-edged track with stomping percussion and sinister synths. It explores the thought-provoking premise of reconnecting with Martin’s childhood nightmare figures, and inviting them to talk over coffee. Meeting Place, a piano-led ballad and one of the more hopeful pieces on the album, is almost hymnal in its aesthetic, peaceful in its musings on the end of all things. Whereas Austin is more akin to Martin’s older material, a tribute to her time living in the Texan city during her early 20s. This hat-tip to Martin’s musical past is a very clever move in an album that’s all about reflecting on the past - a little snapshot into those times - and those strings are still there in the choruses to tether us to the rest of the album.

By Meant To Get Us Through we can sense the finale is coming. Discussing a painful relationship, reflecting on how such an experience can teach you a lot about yourself, this is Martin at her most fragile, heart fully on sleeve. Still In L.A., a guitar-led piece written in tribute to an old friend, might be the only track specifically written about someone else on the album. But much like Austin, what may at first glance appear to be an odd fit actually throws things expertly into stark relief. By discussing someone else at the 11th hour of the album, Martin is able to throw a mirror up against her own choices, and her own experiences. Part of ‘recovery’ is being able to pass on what you’ve learned to help others, after all.

Finally, we reach Healed, the aptly named finale. If the album is the road to recovery, then this track represents acceptance. Consciously making use of a chiming Beatles-esque piano and layered choir-like harmonies, Martin closes out the album with the resounding, inspiring refrain of “We shall be healed”. Triumphant, anthemic, it’s the perfect “credits roll” moment to an album dealing with all the troubles of our past, looking forward to a brighter future.

Christina Martin has always been a songwriter who deals in deep emotions. She’s no stranger to using song to discuss her own life, and has a rare troubadour’s talent for making her personal reflections feel universal and relatable. Yet with Storm, we see something a little different. These songs are not simply a collection of well-crafted observations. This album is a journey. A musical, emotional representation of the road to recovery; its ups, its downs, the pain of looking back and the joy of moving on, all brilliantly captured beat by beat. It’s Martin’s most personal album, possibly her most experimental, and surely her most striking.

Christina Martin is a powerhouse musician, songsmith, and performer hailing from the windswept East Coast of Canada. Her music dances effortlessly through Pop, Rock, Folk and Americana traditions but stays deftly unchained by any one label, unafraid to venture into stranger waters. From her Austin-inflected 2002 debut Pretty Things, to the sweeping cinematic dreamscape of 2018’s Impossible to Hold, Martin is an artist who is constantly shifting, and constantly evolving.

And like all her material, latest album Storm boasts a backbone of raw honesty about the human condition. Be they personal confessions or narrative tales, each song is lovingly crafted, and hits in the heart like a well-thrown punch. With a string-drenched new album and a run of iconic music videos available in 2023, Christina will travel overseas accompanied by co-producer and guitarist Dale Murray, and with a full band at select venues in North America. This is an album, and a tour, not to be missed.



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