It sometimes seems that we (as British music fans and writers) romanticise America’s DIY scene without realising the strength of what we have right here at home. As our DIY issue at the end of October highlighted, the UK has great homegrown indie scenes from Penzance to Eigg. Up in Durham, Martha are a perfect example of the culture’s independent, socially conscious values: this year they released their excellent debut album, ‘Courting Strong’ (produced by Hookworms’ MJ), which was powered by anarchy, veganism and Irn Bru, according to their Bandcamp. Coming in January is a video for the single ‘Sleeping Beauty’, which tackles a serious subject (the gendered socialisation of children) with a sweet yelp.
The single will be accompanied by a mixtape they’ve put together comprising the best DIY from both sides of the Atlantic – Philadelphia’s Radiator Hospital, DC’s Art Sorority For Girls, Glasgow’s Chrissy Barnacle, Ohio’s Delay, South Wales’ Twisted and Bristol’s Trust Fund, rounded off by the single itself and their cover of Long Island band Cheeky’s ‘Bad Mood’. Stream it exclusively below (and read this great NPR interview – who named ‘Courting Strong’ one of the Top 50 albums of 2014 – as you listen.)
Martha play Fortuna POP!’s Winter Sprinter night at London’s Lexington on January 8, alongside Evans The Death and Fulhast. Tickets available here.