The first time I listened to Laura Martin’s music, I remained completely speechless at the utter intensity and talent that this young woman has. Her style seems more like Tori Amos with her use of incredible vocals and piano. But oddly enough I’ve never been a Tori Amos fan for the mere fact that I find her lyrics to be dull. Laura Martin on the contrary has emotionally charged music with lyrics that read like poetry. She excels in everything that a good musician should excel in, the voice, the music, and the lyrics. Her music has the capacity to capture your senses with its human rawness. Long after you’ve listened to one of her songs you still feel the influx of its sheer beauty linger on within you for days haunting you like a Shakespearean tragic heroine and before you realise it you’ve become addicted to her incredible talent.
What are your musical influences?
Well, I need to be sure the musician knows very well what they're doing, formally speaking, or else the listening can become pretty tense. I like music makers who are demanding of their melodies, that catch you out of your guard and take you on an unfamiliar trip through their own weird landscapes that feels totally righteous.. in the end it's all about portraying emotion with honesty and intelligence, so I'm always attracted to artists who naturally possess this sweetness and, let's call it a certain stoicism too.
Nirvana, Hole, Queen Adreena, Satie, Christina Rosenvinge, Spinvis, Placebo, Bright Eyes, Kate Bush, Antony & The Johnsons, Radiohead, Nick Cave, Sugarcubes, Ash, Mahler, The Pixies, Cocteau Twins, Lisa Germano, Björk, Fiona Apple, Deadsy, Suede, Katie Rose, Death In June, Goldfrapp, PJ Harvey, Muse, Tori Amos, Qntal,Terami Hirsch, Shakira, Hanna Fury, Jeff Buckley, Patti Smith, Closterkeller, Regina Spektor, Jenn Vix, Smashing Pumpkins, Tatu, Chopin, Swarf, Múm, JJ72, The Cure, Gwen Sefani, Flaming Lips, Sigur Rós, Backworld, Bauhaus, Collide, Deftones, Aaliyah, Faith and the Muse, Silverchair, Jane Birkin, The Killers, Throwing Muses, The Smiths.. are all very different people who never fail to inspire me in my own music making, and of whom there's always something to learn, one way or another. I could never trace my musical influences down to a handful of musicians really. There's so much stunning stuff out there!
I'm loving old-style Copla lately. Copla is a folk genre that Spain inherited from its Muslim past, very passionate, very all-out. Contemporary interprets are shameful really, but in the 30s and 40s it was a blooming genre in Spain. The singers were classy, dangerous, and would sing in this mad cabaret style about courage in the face of adversity and desire.
Love seems to be the major focus in most of your songs and lyrics, would you say that in a way, is your inspiration?
I seem to find ferocious feelings the most worthwhile territory to explore artistically, and so love has to be a part of it, but not mild romantic love, but the more fiery, undomesticated, natural side of it. I'm only genuinely interested in that raw, tender and unapologetic kind of thing. Also, raptures don't need to be forcefully inspired by a sentimental attachment, which is lucky, but the fact I'm in an honest-to-death, love-crazed relationship with a man who inspires me greatly through life simply has to show in the way I handle art. I was already writing love songs for him long before we first met.
One of your demos on your site is referred to The Mrs. Heathcliff demo. The songs that come from that demo focus mostly on the hope of love. Is Heathcliff a homage to the Wuthering Heights character Heathcliff? Or does it hold another significance?
You could call it an accidental homage to Heathcliff indeed, and there's a little anecdote behind it: shortly after I started University, I got myself engaged in this critical study of Wuthering Heights, along the lines of its similarities with a poem by Shelley called Epipsychidion. You could say it became a pretty obsessive employment for me, and one of this times that I was abstracted from conversation, reading my book at the cafeteria, this mate of mine just shook me by the shoulder joking like "Why, Mrs. Heathcliff, will I ever be graced with your attention again?" The rest of my friends happened to find it funny, and so the nickname stuck. I started using it for penning poetry in the Uni circuits, as it had to be secretive, and so when I recorded my first music demo I found it natural to turn to it again.
Do you feel that your lyrics reflect autobiographical incidences or they bring to life characters created specifically for that song?
I would say 99% of my lyrics can't be any further away from the confessional thing, really! I may be coming forward with certain stuff, but I'm most definitely not confessing . Also, I'm not very interested in the particulars behind songs. Eliot had this very lucid idea of impersonality in art, understood as universality opposed to the anecdote. I believe there is this corpus of pure fantasy in the core of each individual that distinguishes them as such, and probably represents the truth of us way better than our factual ID would. When asked about up to what point my music is personal, I always give the example of the professional runner: it sounds slightly out of the question to wonder whether running is personal for him or not! He doesn't know if it is a personal thing or if it isn't, what he does know is that he feels an imperative urge to run. I'm just a runner like that.
For further information about Laura Martin's music check out her site: www.lauramartin.es