My Inspiration: Martha Hill – Landslide | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Think it’s fair to say that 2020 hasn’t been that great for most of us. However, If you are alt-pop act, Martha Hill, then it’s been pretty decent. She was tipped as a BBC Introducing ‘one to watch’ for 2020, (including a feature on Jools Holland at the end of 2019) and her single Grilled Cheese was named Huw Stephens’ “tip of the week”, BBC Radio 1’s track of the week, as well as making BBC6 music’s A-List playlist. There’s a whole load of other achievements we could list (Spotify playlists, funding awards, successful crowdfunding campaign, etc) but we wouldn’t want to rub your face in it.

Her new synthalicious new single, Landslide is a rich, driving alt-pop anthem with raw and earnest vocals, an infectious chorus and a whole host of wonderful changes. 

We asked Martha to tells us about the inspiration behind her latest release…

My latest single Landslide is taken from my upcoming EP Summer Up North. Landslide is ultimately about not feeling right. When you’re down, it’s hard to imagine the up, and when you’re up, there’s no such thing as down. And different parts of the songs are about different people’s experiences of that. In verse 1 you’re walking round the streets cause you can’t afford to go out or do something nice, but you want to leave the house but then you bump into someone you don’t recognise and they’re super happy to see you and it makes you feel weird. And in verse 2 it’s about two take interactive who make video games, and getting caught up in wasting time smoking weed and playing games and getting depressed. And then it talks about cold water therapy and wanting to take someone home to look after them. The song has a pretty upbeat feel which definitely masks it’s meaning a bit- that wasn’t purposeful but I kinda like it.

Summer Up North is a collection of songs about my experiences living in the north east. Like in Landslide being too skint for a holiday cause we’re all skint haha. Or in the title track Summer Up North is all about overdoing it during festival season and not looking after yourself and cycling over to Fenham in the sun to drink some tinnies. Headlock is a bit more “political” and chats about the way our society relies on technology to exist. We invest in all these devices designed to save us time, but in the end we’re entrapped by it, and time seems to move faster and the line “late night takeaway talk” just makes me think of sitting in a chippy mortal at daft o’clock. And then the last track on the EP “Before I Go” talks about partying in the north and how we’re our own wee bubble cut off from the London craic “they don’t give a shit about us”.

I like the identity of the north. It’s industrial feel and the whole “grim up north” craic is class. I think that vibe in itself was a big part of the sound of this EP. And the bedroom pop vibe is a testament to the DIY scene in Newcastle- there’s very little industry/investment up here so we just craic on ourselves and support each other really.

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