Nova Scotia's Martell has expanded her folk-pop sound since her ECMA-nominated 2020 debut Coming Home, thanks to a fruitful partnership with fellow songwriter Gabrielle Papillon. The pair co-wrote five of the nine cuts here, with Papillon producing, engineering, playing, and singing. She doesn't dominate though, it's still Martell's quest, her soothing, rich, acoustic songs now thickened with vocal layers, subtle strings, and satisfying keyboards and programming. Three other cuts with the redoubtable Daniel Ledwell at the helm accomplish the same and match the rest of the production seamlessly.
Martell's songs are gently empowering, embracing fears and insecurities, questioning directions, and letting us all know it's natural. "Should I Run" is a lovely bit of atmospheric folk, both catchy and moody, blissfully hypnotic? "Here No More" is one of two cuts making excellent use of Old Man Luedecke's banjo, a bright counterpoint to the melancholy. "Every Season" has a Europop breeziness, the verses straight out of a film set in '60s Paris.
Martell has a batch of album launch shows coming up around Nova Scotia. You can find her:
Saturday, Oct. 15 West Brooklyn Speakeasy West Brooklyn
Thursday, Oct. 20 The Carleton Halifax
Friday, Oct. 21 Kings Theatre Annapolis Royal
Saturday, Oct. 22 Union Street Berwick
Friday, Oct. 28 Petite Riviere Winery Petite Riviere