by tom johnson
When we “introduced” Martha Ffion back in May 2015, through the release of her Lost Map Records single “No Applause“, we said that “it’s not often that we get to introduce an artist that seems ready-made for wider acclaim” and despite such assertions of grandeur, what we meant by those sentiments was that Ffion had a way with a pop song that felt beautifully immersive and charming from the very first moments of her work. Joining the Turnstile label was a big leap forward for the Glasgow-based songwriter, but the wholesome nature of her recordings never once faltered under the spotlight, growing in stature both figuratively, and literally; the addition of new backing band adding extra meat to her bones, so to speak.
And so the culmination of this journey is the release of new EP “Trip” which offers, by far, her most superior recordings to-date. Lead tracks “Wallflower” and “So Long” still catch both the ear and eye with a beautifully melodic sway that melds classic doo-wop stylings with more familiar indie-pop aesthetics; the latter especially still sounding like one of 2016’s brightest pop moments.
Elsewhere “School Nurse” is a crunchy two-and-a-half minutes, all gritty guitars and mellow lead vocals, “Red Letter Day” is a flourishing burst of steely-eyed garage-pop, while “We Disappear” acts as the gleaming centre-piece: a moody three-minutes that delivers heartfelt poignancy through a lead vocal that scatters melodic moments of magic across a robust instrumental to craft something genuinely evocative. Synonymous with a brand of songwriting that feels tied to that of yesteryear, “Trip” nevertheless feels eminently smart and endearing, and absolutely rewarding of a place within the year’s best pre-debut-album releases. Job very much done then.
The ‘Trip’ EP is out now, via Turnstile
You can stream it on Spotify here
photograph by beth chalmers