Cumbria based singer-songwriter, poet, and performer Martin Wardley is due to release his new single ‘Resurrecting The Show’ on Friday the 13th November 2020. Produced by Ben Matravers (Hannah Trigwell, Boyce Avenue, East Life ) and mastered by Pete Maher (Rolling Stones, U2, Peaky Blinders). A prolific writer, Martin has previously released two albums ‘Into The Abyss’ and ‘Pedestrian Odyssey’ along with co-writing for and with other artists such as Wayne Gidden, Tom Read and Hati. Martin’s work has also seen support from the BBC Network with BBC Bristol and Cumbria both playing his tracks.
Music News got together with Martin to find out more...
So, what's up Martin? What's on your mind right now? Hi .. its early morning, I'm sat in a cafe working my way through a strong black coffee and about to listen to the 3rd mix of the final tunes which will make the next batch of songs. I'm giving more thought to how to release these: as a body of work - an album - as was the original intention or as single releases. Although the latter makes more sense to a DIY artist I'm leaning heavily towards the former. I'm also trying to get my head around our current situation and where that leaves us all, in particular the younger generations. And finally hoping a certain forthcoming election goes the way polls are predicting. It's still a bit early for all that! .. another coffee I think ;-)
Tell us everything about your new single ‘Resurrecting The Show'. The song started taking shape as a poem and as a piece of music - an arpeggio - on the piano. This was one of my first written on the ivories. Once I had the basic tune, I introduced the lyrics and they fit quite nicely with a few tweaks to both words and music. I then set about building the tune in my home studio on Logic with the help of a few samples etc. This is broadly how I build my tunes but I am no producer. I also write for and with others. These songs span genres which I wouldn't use for my own "Wardley" output. While doing this I was introduced to Ben Matravers in Leeds. I warmed to him as a person, to his work ethic, his process and his eclectic knowledge of music. I asked if he would produce my next track giving him scope for his own artistic interpretation. He did this and the version you hear now is a result of this. We are now working together on 9 other tracks which may or may not be the album. The lyrics of the tune are all about losing ones way. If we then take a piece of the essence of ourselves from way back at the start of the journey and adding that to the current self, with all the baggage that contains, this can facilitate a restart, a rebirth, a resurrection of the show.
You are a singer, songwriter and poet. A very interesting combination. When did you start writing and singing? I've been singing since the age of 7 which started at school. The headmaster at the school I joined at that age was driven by music and thus he drove the school in that direction. Having found a certain ability I was whisked along that route. Although performing has been sporadic over the years, I love being up there and I love singing and more recently I particularly enjoy interpreting my own works. I started writing tunes around the age of 16 when I bought my first guitar. I've written ever since. Obviously, this has grown and I like to think my tunes have improved over the years and as I write more they continue to do so. It has also been a very positive outlet for me when things might not have been going particularly well due to the usual things that life throws in our way. As part of writing songs, there is obviously the lyrics and over the years I have found myself increasingly drawn towards this part of the craft. I'm heavily influenced by songwriters who also pay significant attention to the lyric, particularly if a little left-field and dark. I've always dabbled with poetry ie writing words without having to consider the constraints of rhythm and meter needed for the song but until a few years ago this was a little hit and miss. Two and half years ago I decided to force the issue and write a piece each week and release via social media. Broadly I've achieved this - some are better than others and some have been subsequently used for songs - as was Resurrecting the Show. The fact that the editing process has, by nature, to be time constrained and disciplined I find both exhilarating and liberating.
Really liked your cinematic music video. Can you talk a bit more about it please? Thanks!! I've been producing lyric videos for most of my previous tunes mostly to keep costs down and to ensure I can release quickly but there have been a few occasions in Bath and with a Bristol-based Video producer when we produced a more professional video and with obvious vastly improved results. I decided I wanted to repeat this for the current single and as I've since moved North I asked a video producer I know through my wife's business if he would help - he's a musician too. And thus with the help of Daniel & Laura at Marriage in Motion, we set about planning. I thought Blackpool was a great spot due to the "show" nature of the tune. Daniel had a few ideas re how to "speed up" the background, Laura took some great footage of the seafront, I tried frantically to sing at double speed and the video was born. Daniel turned the whole thing around in a matter of days. We did, however, have a small issue while filming on the pier: we were asked to cease, if we didn't have permission, by a manager and his "bouncer". More comical than intimidating and it is a shame we didn't get footage of the event!
What was the first album you purchased & which artists are you listening to right now? Wow! .. that's quite some time ago and will certainly show my age. I believe this was "Sladest" by Slade. Classic Rock/Pop tunes and a far cry from my youthful venture into punk.
Right now I've been listening to Matt Berninger's new material along with Taylor Swifts new collaborative releases on "Folklore". Myself and Ben Matravers were drawn to some of the production and simplicity of the arrangements. Because Tayor Swift collaborated with Bon Iver on Folklore I've also been drawn back to "For Emma, Forever ago" - quite a classic now. And finally, I have also found myself listening to Jazz playlists while I work from home and really want to dig more into this genre I know very little about.
What does the rest of 2020 hold for you? There is not much of left - some would say that's a good thing I strongly suspect. That said we will continue to push the track, I will compete and master the next tracks, make a decision re the release of these for 2021 and put plans in place for that. I've recently bought a loops tool and will play around with this to start writing the next batch of tracks. And finally contrary to the opinions of some regardless of where we are Xmas won't be cancelled and I'll make some plans for that and book some time off .. to charge batteries and hit the ground running in 2021.