When Chordblossom came into existence, it was always our aim to shine a spotlight on the artists and bands that make up the music scene in Northern Ireland. We’ve been doing it for over ten years now and one of our favourite methods is our Introducing feature.
Put the kettle on, curl up on your sofa and and join us for a quickfire Q&A with some of our favourite new musicians. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover your new favourite artists.
This iteration of Introducing features the musical talents of Martha Greer who just released her debut EP ‘Dirty Old Shoes’.
You’ve just released a new EP. How did it come about and what does it mean to you?
I wrote the EP two years ago when I was 17. They were the first songs I had ever written that didn’t sound too bad so I decided to start playing them at a couple of gigs, the rest is history. They mean a whole lot to me because they are the reason I am where I am today. It’s always nice to play them and reflect on the person I was at that time and how things have changed since then.
Have you any more releases or studio time lined up for later in the year?
At the moment I want to focus on writing more music but I wouldn’t rule out another release later in the year. I definitely have a couple of songs that I would love to get out but I want to give the EP it’s time to shine.
Tell us about your song writing process.
I think most of my favourite songs are the ones that literally just flow out of me. I don’t really know how it all happens but it’s a great feeling when you can sit down and write something with such ease and fluidity. I usually start with the melody and then work the lyrics around that, but the process always changes depending on the day.
Who were your favourite artists/bands growing up? Have your influences changed over time?
The first artists I remember truly enjoying were Talking Heads, The Smiths, and The Clash. As I’ve gotten older, I listen to a lot more music that sounds like my own from people like Julia Jacklin and Phoebe Bridgers. I love all that sad stuff, but i‘m still a sucker for bands like Shame, Black Country New Road, The Murder Capital for example. In fact, Track X heavily influenced the opening song on my EP ‘Plasters’.
The 2022 NI Music Prize has just concluded, what’s been your favourite album and single released this year?
I really liked If I never know you like this again by SOAK, it’s a really beautiful album. I remember having Last July on constantly during 2022. I think I liked it so much because everything about it was very personal so it was easy to feel connected to it. I enjoyed a lot of singles too, my favourites probably being Them by Chalk or Snakes & Rabbits by Tramp.
If you weren’t a musician, what line of work would we find you in?
I would probably just spend the rest of my life trying to figure out what I actually wanted to be. I wanted to do law for a bit but then decided on architecture. I shortly after changed my mind and thought about doing film studies but then I ended up applying for a course in engineering. About 3 months later I had emailed to change my course to bioscience. I lasted 5 weeks in that course, I’m a bit indecisive as you can see although I did always enjoy english and history so maybe I would have ended up there.
If you could collaborate with one artist or band from NI, who would it be and why?
I would love to write some stuff with Max Sloan. I’ve always been a really big fan of his and his recent EP only made me love his music even more. I think we would end up making some pretty emotional songs.
It is intensely difficult to be successful in the music industry. What does NI need to do to invest in/develop to boost your chances?
I love the music scene in Northern Ireland but I think I would benefit a lot if there were more opportunities for solo artists especially when you are up-and-coming. There is always a great selection of bands playing about the place but I rarely see nights dedicated to artists who play alone and need a more attentive audience.
What does success look like for you?
I have always wanted people to feel a connection to my music, so if I could achieve that in some way, I’d be pretty happy. I remember someone told me one of my songs had oddly reminded them of their childhood and that was a really cool feeling, to know that something you had created could bring people emotions like that.
You’re going out on tour and can have anything you want on your rider, what would we find on yours?
Bacon rashers, a few cans, maybe some pineapple for good health.
Where and when can we next catch you live?
I’m playing in Bangor’s Courthouse in August as part of the Open House Festival which is nice, I’m excited to play in my home city again alongside some amazing artists.
If you enjoyed this feature and fancy discovering some more new artists, we suggest you jump on over to our archive of Introducing pieces.
If you are a band or musician based in Northern Ireland interested in taking part in our Introducing feature, we recommend submitting new music to us via our Contact page and if we enjoy it, you’ll no doubt hear from us.