Martha Wainwright - Single Girl, Married Girl - Nelson Sobral

Photo - Gaelle Leroyer
Martha Wainwright - Hole In My Heart.

Martha Wainwright is beginning again. The beguiling performer and songwriter returns with Love Will Be Reborn, out in August. Not since 2012’s Come Home to Mama has a Martha Wainwright record been so full of original written material. Wainwright’s fifth studio album follows recent years of loneliness and clarity in search of optimism and joy.

Wainwright wrote the first song—and what would become the title track— of the record a few years ago. It was a very dark time, she says, but the positivity and luminosity of “Love Will Be Reborn” signalled what was to come. Wainwright was at a friend’s home in London to collaborate on something else entirely when she was struck by the need to write the song. Wainwright demures when songwriting – her process is undisciplined and she prefers to be alone. That day, soon left to that solitude, “Love Will Be Reborn” poured out of her.

“I wrote the song in its entirety within ten or fifteen minutes. I was bawling.” The track feels very English to Wainwright with a soft melody and thrumming guitar, evoking pastoral scenes. Wainwright croons, “There is love in every part of me, I know / But the key has fallen deep into the snow / When the spring comes I will find it, and unlock my heart to unwind it.” It’s poetic and mysterious, yet still there is a yearning for joy and renewal. Wainwright sang the as-yet recorded “Love Will Be Reborn” on tour, serving as an anthem, giving her hope in a time when it was hard to have some.

Much of Wainwright’s songwriting since 2016’s Goodnight City felt too raw. “There were several years where I picked up the guitar, and I was so, so sad and depressed. I would just put it down because It was terrible.” Before writing it out, or writing through it for catharsis, Wainwright had to live it. Album opener “Middle of the Lake” reinforces Wainwright’s path forward as she sings over voltaic chords and percussion, “I sing my songs of love and pain / Winds of change or simply singing, I’m singing in the rain.” Her work never shies away from an existential throbbing wound. “There are a couple major subjects on the record. From what I can tell, there’s really dark and then light,” she says. “It really is reflective of a very difficult period of divorce. Then, after that, it’s meeting somebody new and amazing. And so you hear certain songs about this new love.”


Photo - Anna Azarov
Single Girl, Married Girl - Hurt Her So.

Steeped in a folk songwriting tradition that harkens back to Pete Seeger and Joan Baez mixed with modern songwriting elements in the style of Jenny Lewis and Brandi Carlile, Single Girl, Married Girl, fearlessly tackles issues ranging from loss and drug addiction to insecurity and depression.

The LA-based pop/folk/Americana group fronted by singer/songwriter and banjo player, Chelsey Coy, have released “Hurt Her So,” their first offering since 2017’s album, Spark. The haunting, harmony-rich track offers a taste of what’s to come from the band, filled with poignant lyrics, lush instrumentation, catchy melodies and sweeping musical arrangements.

Coy co-wrote this song, along with many others to be released soon, with her husband, Gary Knight, drawing on personal struggles including the death of close family members, health challenges, and battles with depression that paralleled the Coronavirus pandemic. "Art happens on a subconscious level and sometimes it's only after you've written the songs that you look back on them and realize what you’re processing," Knight says.


Nelson Sobral - In The Middle Of The Night.

Following in the footsteps of “Pendulum,” the acclaimed spring 2021 single from Toronto-based songwriter Nelson Sobral, comes “In The Middle Of The Night,” a song which marks a further venture into Sobral’s eclectic and trademark mix of soul, country and rock and roll. While equally reminiscent of ’70s Rolling Stones, the most stomping numbers by Johnny Cash, and the most celebrated tracks from the extensive Stax Records catalogue, “In The Middle Of The Night” was written as an ode to those fleeting moments shared only by lovers bound for the deepest of deepest bonds. “It’s about the early days of when you first start seeing each other,” Sobral describes. “Where you’re just sort of sharing little secrets, and starting to build that private, intimate thing.”

Composed after a trip to Nashville, Sobral recalls how overwhelmingly inspired he was by the rhythm and texture of the bustling, musically vibrant city. “If you walk away from that place without coming away with that energy, you’re sort of missing the point,” Sobral explains. Visiting all the iconic landmarks that adorn Broadway or Music Row, Sobral was deep within the grips of Nashville’s bustling and contagious buzz. Of the teary pedal steels, shimmering acoustic guitars, pounding kick drums, and glowing horns constantly emanating from the fronts of open bars, Sobral remarks: “You should always walk away from an experience like that feeling inspired.”

With its bombastic horn sections provided by Selcuk Suna and featuring Sobral’s virtuosic and guitar playing, “In The Middle Of The Night.” exemplifies the songwriter’s effortless amalgamation of the touchstone styles of Americana, of which Nashville is a welcoming, beckoning light. The single further explores Sobral’s passion for mixing soul, country, and rock and roll into one celebratory style. “This is like Otis Redding wrote a song with Willie Nelson,” Sobral reveals. “My two main roads are old country and old soul, driven down the rock and roll path.”