In the long build up to new music from Billie Marten the artist has remained present through glimmers of live activity and periodic online updates, marking the first new material since 2016’s exceptional debut album, Writing of Blues and Yellows, Marten unveils ‘Mice‘ – a gentle yet moving piece of expression distilled to a modest four minute runtime.
Loosely-formed drums sway a relaxed beat for Marten’s gossamer tones to soar atop, a lilting, softly strummed guitar grounds the composition in familiarity as a recall to Marten’s earlier work. The vocals carry Marten’s hallmark, closely recorded and bare for the benefit of intimacy and connection with its listener, interwoven cuts of background noise place contextual scene-setting alongside lyrics of self analysis and introspection to remind us of the world outside, a hustle-bustle disparate to our own inner struggle but equally as loud and jarring. It’s the unobtrusive but omniscient clarity of nature that serves Marten’s protagonist their awakening in the end, a turn of perspective which leads to a more informed reality. The earthiness of this recording once more realises the elegant lo-fi aesthetic we love so much about Marten’s work, possibly result of the artist’s continued collaboration with producer Rich Cooper.
Written on a “miserable day” in Cornwall, Marten explains the story behind the new track: “I felt sort of empty and lacking a lot of purpose. Mice came out of that sentiment which is why the drums are so lethargic and lazy. The chorus though, reflects how last year I didn’t know who to ‘imitate’. It seemed there was only good and bad people in black and white; I was the anomaly in the middle. Then I went walking and sat on a dead man’s bench and wrote the last verse.”
‘Mice’ is the first track of many more to come, hopefully we won’t have to wait quite as long for the next instalment but if this single is a good indication of where future releases might be heading then Marten will most likely have another stellar body of work to add to her growing list of accomplishments.
Billie Marten’s new track ‘Mice’ is available to stream and purchase here.
Photo Credit: Katie Silvester