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Martha Bean - When Shadows Return to the Sea (Self Release)

Star rating: 
4

Utterly enchanting debut from Leicester-based singer/songwriter

WHEN SHADOWS RETURN TO THE SEA is the sort of debut album most young singer/songwriter's probably dream about making. Leicester-based Martha Bean has an assured command over fine melodies that are both beautifully crafted as well as being instantly accessible to the listener, most probably due to the early influence of classical music, both her parents being classical musicians; dad John Bean himself takes the cello solo on To Make the Whole World Happy. There are certainly other influences at work here as well, notably that of Nick Drake on Catching Stars, which Martha absorbs into the very fabric of her music, which in turn comes out pretty much her own. Occasionally the influences are worn directly on her sleeve such as The Conversation, which I imagine is influenced by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's Grammy nominated Falling Slowly, but I could be mistaken. Having played the piano from a very early age, the multi-instrumentalist fearlessly tackles all the dramatic orchestral arrangements herself with astonishing results, especially on Who Changed the Clocks and the superb opener When the Fear Comes, both very much show-pieces on the album. This is an utterly enchanting debut.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky

Airplay: Catching Stars (Show 369/29.03.15)
Airplay: When the Fear Comes (Show 370/05.04.15)
Release Date: 06.04.15
More Info: www.marthabean.com