Release date: 23 January 2012
On 23 January 2012 Laura J Martin is to release her eagerly anticipated debut album ‘The Hangman Tree’ on Static Caravan. Armed with a flute ready for wrangling, mandolin and a loop station, she sings over her loops and beats; songs inspired by subject matter as disparate as Japanese folklore to real life sentiments and characters. The album, which features the vocals of Euros Childs, shows her wonderfully eccentric folk-driven wonkiness in all it’s glory.
With a vocal style reminiscent of Bjork, Bonnie Dobson and Kate Bush, Laura hails from the suburbs of Liverpool with influences that ricochet between Serge Gainsbourg, Wu Tang Clan, David Bowie and Herbie Mann. Mining the strange, darker underbelly of folk with untold layers of intrigue, she flits effortlessly between flute, mandolin and xylophone, as well as using looped vocals and instruments to great effect. There’s an otherworldliness to the off-kilter, psychedelic feel of her music, which made her an ideal choice to support the likes of Misty’s Big Adventure, Scout Niblett, Buck 65, Hannah Peel, Bonobo, Little Dragon, Singing Adams and Jonny (Euros from Gorkys and Norman from Teenage Fanclub’s band), with whom she appeared as both guest and support.
She has had a string of releases including the single 'Spy' and 'Inside Your Bones' - a single made in collaboration with 'The Simonsound' (with whom she also performs on their live set), as well as having cut a record with Richard James (Gorky's Zygotic Mynci). Laura has also just finished an improvised album with Euros Childs and Sweet Baboo under the moniker 'Short and Curlies’.
As well as performing live on Rob da Bank's Campfire Special (Radio 1), Laura has also been championed by Marc Riley (Radio 6), who, wowed by her performance in the live session with 'Jonny' snapped her up for a further solo session in March this year. She is currently planning a UK Tour in support of the album’s release.
"A story book forest of weird instruments and enticing sounds" (4 stars) - Q
"These spry, gnomic songs echo Slapp Happy's downmarket Weimerbohemia or the inverterbrate oddness of The Raincoats" (4 stars) - Uncut
"Talking of collaborations, Laura is occasionally assisted by Gorky’s man Euros Child who contributes an excellent counter voice that really brings out the Canterbury prog vibe. Excellent stuff." - Norman Records
"This time last year Static Caravan released Hannah Peel’s “The Broken Wave”, another inventive album by a solo female multi-instrumentalist with Liverpool connections and an impressive address book. Twelve months on, Laura J Martin trumps that excellent record with her debut and may just provide the Birmingham label with a commercial as well as critical success" - Folly of Youth
"A Brilliant Debut" - Sunday Times, Breaking Act
"Lithe and fluent, Martin's debut flutters like a flighter Joanna Newsome or a playful Kate Bush" - The Independent
"Even in a great week for albums, the debut from Laura J Martin shines" (4 stars) - Daily Mirror