Eric J Lawrence tells us about Martina Topley Bird’s new album “Some Place Simple,” streaming now as part of our Album Preview series.
Martina Topley Bird may be the best singer you’ve heard but don’t know the name of. Her two solo albums became critical favorites, receiving a Mercury Prize nomination for her 2003 debut CD, Quixotic and teaming up with Danger Mouse on her follow-up, 2008’s The Blue God. Over the past 15 years, she’s appeared on records by Tricky, David Holmes, Diplo, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Gorillaz, Common and most recently, Massive Attack.
It was while performing with Massive Attack on their 2010 tour that she inspired Damon Albarn of Gorillaz and Blur fame to offer her an opportunity to release her new album on his Honest Jon’s label. What makes the album so special is that Martina has re-recorded some of the standout tracks from her previous solo records in an intimate, stripped-down setting that creates a lush and warm collection of her music, with nearly unrecognizable renditions of many of the originals that are as surprising as they are wonderful. The album also contains four fantastic new compositions that highlight Martina’s range of style and intensely captivating vocals.
The four new tracks are the swaying jazz-infused “Orchids“, the 1930’s style swinging clap-filled “All day“, the breathy lullaby “Kiss Kiss Kiss” and the extremely brief “Harpsichord Kiss” which is an electric harpischord instrumental of “Kiss Kiss Kiss.”
New takes on tracks like “Baby Blue” and “Poison” beautifully emphasize Martina’s stunning vocals and the album as a whole serves as a perfect introduction, or reintroduction, to the talent of this dynamic singer-songwriter.
— Eric J. Lawrence, KCRW DJ and Music Librarian
“Some Place Simple” Track listing
1. Baby Blue (from “The Blue God”)
2. Phoenix (from “The Blue God”)
3. Lying (from “Quixotic”)
4. Da Da Da (from “The Blue God”)
5. Orchids (new track)
6. Poison (from “The Blue God”)
7. Intro (from “Quixotic”)
8. Snowman (from “The blue god”)
9. Sandpaper Kisses (from “Quixotic”)
10. All Day (new track)
11. Ilyah (from “Quixotic”)
12. Valentine (from “The blue god”)
13. Too Tuff To Die (from “Quixotic”)
14. Kiss Kiss Kiss (new track)
15. Harpsichord Kiss (new track)