Portrush based singer songwriter Andrew Martin has been on our radar for a while but only as festival season comes to an end have I had time to dedicate to checking out his debut EP. Normally I am not a fan of intro tracks as they are just filler and perhaps this is the case as it leads directly into ‘Down the River.’ Harmonica tinged blues are the first thoughts that spring to mind but Andrew has nailed the fine art of knowing when to strip things back too.
‘Outside the Harbour Walls’ was a strong contender in our Kickstart competition and made a strong impression on the whole team. Therefore it is no surprise to see it sit proudly as the best track on the EP. Lyrically about breaking free of your fears – “which is better to die young or to not live at all.” With easy to relate to lyrics and the violin mixing with Andrew’s voice to create an air of melancholy I found this song on constant repeat.
‘Sparrow’ continues the theme of someone leaving and the tinges of regret that result. The simple and gentle guitar picking works well in creating a sombre ambience. This is patten is dismantled just before the 3 minute mark with more of an emphasis on weeping violin, solid drums and an assertion from Andrew that we must “break these chains.” It is a welcome and much needed change of pace. Final track ‘Safe In My Arms’ sees Andrew softly whispering against the backdrop of the tender playing of a piano. In a way this is a lullaby of sorts, re-assuring in tone and the perfect soft closure that this EP needed.
An intriguing debut EP from Andrew Martin with plenty of reason for optimism going forward. Maybe not the cheeriest record one will listen to all year but would be ideal for those cold winter evenings in front of an open fire.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ Outside These Harbour Walls ▶
◀ CONNECTION ⁞ David C Clements | Newton Faulkner ▶