New Album From Martha D. Lewis Striking A Chord For Our Times
By Angie Lemon.
ALL THAT YOU SEE is a journey of love, healing and social commentary songs that have been carefully crafted by masterful songwriter, Martha D. Lewis. ALL THAT YOU SEE strikes a chord for our times with its jazz-blues infused songs that tackle current issues such as: the ‘growing thorn of greed’ on LIARS CLUB, while A.I. MAN raises an important question: is humanity being replaced by machines? British-Cypriot Martha D. Lewis can just as easily converse with emotional pain and then equally comfortably, take strides of angst at the world around us. This is Martha D. Lewis’ sixth studio album but first to be recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios.
Along the road to making ALL THAT YOU SEE, Martha D. Lewis experienced some unexpected twists and turns of fate, ones that would define the mood of the album, as Martha says in her own words,
“After a vast and varied musical journey in the last 2 decades of composition, theatre music, mentoring and film and documentary presenting, I returned to song writing in 2018 with a flurry of social-political songs about the world around us... this album is a story of angst and losing faith, healing and gaining hope.”
DAWN is about coming through dark times, only to find hope again, a timely message with wide relevance and context for those who have lost loved ones over the last months. Martha beautifully express the start of new beginnings with the poignant song DAWN, as reflected in the chorus,
“Dawn has come/I made it through the darkest night/
I never thought I’d see the light of day ”.
ALL THAT YOU SEE opens with the gripping song AI MAN, a refreshing look at “algorithm choice” and the encroachment of machines and technology into our daily lives, Martha asks: is humanity is creating its own expiry date and preparing for machines to rule?
The album’s title track, ALL THAT YOU SEE, tenderly speaks of the dangers of the internet’s easily accessible sexualized content and the all-too often traumatic effect this can have on young people, who think that what they are seeing must be ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’. The jazzy-blues song LIARS CLUB starts with Leon Stenning’s deft guitar work and delivers punchy social messages from Martha about the “growing thorn” of corporate greed,
“It's a growing thorn and it’s called greed/ A raging storm gathering speed….I hope a change will be coming soon/ Hope the world can rewind/ Pray we come back home to love/ And to hell with the Liars club.”
In between Martha’s social message songs, the listener is invited to explore more vulnerable songs such as BENEATH THE SURFACE which glides along with Martha embracing the vulnerability of love. It’s a perfect meld of jazzy-blues art-pop and it’s an easy song to fall into and not want to leave.
To create a dynamic new direction for this collection of songs, Martha gathered an ensemble of high-class musicians, producers + sound engineers for the project at Real World Studios. This included drummer Ian Matthews (Kasabian), Nick Cohen (Massive Attack, Annie Lennox) and one of the world’s most respected and innovative producers and sound engineers, Stephen W Tayler. From decades of experience of working with the greats such as Kate Bush, Phil Collins, Stevie Nicks and Peter Gabriel, Stephen W. Tayler has sprinkled stardust onto the mixes of Martha’s songs.
The ability of an artist to reinvent themselves and evolve is often a keynote for a long and successful career. Martha D. Lewis has such an ability. From trailblazing music-comedy duo beginnings with Eve Polycarpou as ‘Donna and Kebab’ (Live at the Hackney Empire DVD); three albums as ‘Martha and Eve’; from jazzy world music on Martha’s debut solo album ‘Café Aman – Double Life’; to the bold re-imaginings of urban Greek blues on the album ‘Homage to Roza’. ‘Homage to Roza’ was inspired by Martha’s role as singer and presenter in the internationally released feature documentary film, My Sweet Canary, about the iconic Greek-Jewish singer Roza Eskenazy as directed by Roy Sher. As a dynamic entertainer, Martha D. Lewis is always looking ahead to create the next project, ensuring constant artistic progression. Martha D. Lewis is a pro-active Patron and fundraiser for the Leukaemia Cancer Society (UK). Martha has donated generously from live performances and special events over the years and continues to be a supporting artist and advocate for the incredible work the volunteers do. Martha also provides music career mentorship for young musicians at the Ivor’s Academy / Help Musicians UK sharing her experience to help emerging young artists.
ALL THAT YOU SEE is a looking glass into the thoughts, drives and vulnerabilities of Martha D and releases through Budd on the 8th April 2022 with International distribution through Cadiz Music.
British-born Cypriot Martha Demetri Lewis has been a recording artist of jazz and world music, since 1987. Her career was most notably launched with the much-acclaimed award-winning music-comedy duoDonna & Kebab in the early 1990s.The duo recorded three albums, and a DVD of their show ‘Live at the Hackney Empire’.Martha’s solo career was launched in late 1990’s and has since received numerous commissions for music composition and song-writing work for the Arts Council, PRS Foundation, London ArtsBoard, amongst others, as well as title and incidental music for theatre film and documentaries. Martha’s music releases span several decades and include her debut solo release ‘‘Café Aman-Double Life’ which was awarded ‘Best Album of the Year’ by BBC Radio in 2007, and the classic-reimagined Greek blues album ‘Homage to Roza’ in 2015. Martha continues to release new music, with her latest work ‘ALL THAT YOU SEE’.