Laura J Martin: On The Never Never – album review

Laura J MartinLaura J Martin: On The Never Never

(Shape Records/Kartel Music Group)

LP | CD | DL

9/10

Laura J Martin’s most beguiling and brilliant record to date, a tour through a multi-faceted sonic soundscape of the highest order.

On The Never Never is the follow up to the wonderful Dazzle Days, recorded under different circumstances to that of Dazzle Days as Laura J Martin assembled something of a super group. Featuring Lamb Chop’s Matt Swanson and Tony Crow, Silver Jews’ Brian Kotzur and The Jesus Lizard’s Duane Denison, with Mark Nevers on production.

With this group of exceptional musicians in tow it paved the way for the wonderful On The Never Never. The album comprises of a beautiful sonic journey from the delicate to the dancefloor worthy, the former being particularly evident in the exquisite Everything You Know. The graceful unfussy rhythm beautifully complimenting Martin’s sweet vocal, with fleeting blasts of her trademark flute.

It’s the groovier sound of A Deliberate Man and Green Grey Grim, that are sure to have audiences shaking their hips. With the latter being reminiscent of her previous collaborator, Euros Childs with its jaunty upbeat rhythm and quirky style. My Landing Place on the other hand is elegantly dazzling, the raw nature of the track exposing the truly compelling vocal.

Whilst the nature of the track is relatively raw, there are still a multitude of layers of instrumentation each carefully orchestrated to create this wondrous sound. All of this is achieved without making any of the tracks overzealous or pointlessly blustery, instead there is an endearing effortlessness to the record. All of which only serves to highlight Martin’s fragile tones even more.

On The Never Never traverses so many sounds transcending the classification of any particular genre, instead standing out for its own eclecticism. Which is only compounded by the inclusion of a guest vocal by the incomparable Benjamin Zephaniah on I Can’t Bear To Feel Myself.

Laura J Martin’s records have always been brilliantly original, but On The Never Never has taken things to a completely different level. The move to Nashville to record this album, has broadened her sound further than ever before. This album is certainly Martin’s best to date, and cements her place as one of the UK’s most underrated artists!

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Laura J Martin can be found online here laurajmartin.com. She is also on Facebook and tweets as @TheLauraJMartin.

All words by Lee Hammond. You can check out more work by Lee at his Louder Than War author’s archive, he also tweets as @Napzap.

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