Martha Tilston returns with her brand new record this month. Poetically titled Machines Of Love And Grace, the title alone sets the mood for what is contained within the 11 track collection the singer has offered us. Having a two year gap between this and her last release, Lucy And The Wolves, Tilston has been given time to collect her thoughts and draw inspiration from new life experiences and craft the songs for Machines Of Love And Grace.
‘Stags Bellow’ has been busy fronting the new collection and seems to be going down a treat with critics so far. Fans of the musician have also praised her latest efforts giving the singer a welcoming yet unsurprising stamp of approval early on it its release.
The Sussex songstress bares her soul on ‘Silent Women’, a track in the opening half of the record. Vibrato coated vocals and poetically enchanting lyrics put gender issues under the microscope with a song depicting the hardship of the unheard female voice. She does so with some of the albums most thought-provoking lines like, “how high do we build our walls, ’till there is no corner the sun gets in at all/brick on brick, up through the blue, look I can see the bombers we’re sending to liberate you/oh I should hold my tongue – be silent woman”.
‘Wall Street’ is a notable inclusion on the album. Its verses contain a stunning vocal arrangement while the chorus proves to be one of the most memorable on the record as Tilston questions the lifecycle of money, begging the question – “Where does the money flow from, who does it go to?”. It may be the shortest number on the album sitting in a just shy of three minutes, but here Tilston certainly proves that less is more.
Tilston’s vocals resonate gracefully throughout the new record with numbers like ‘Blue Eyes’ and ‘More’ providing testament to the singer-songwriters influential standing in the folk community over the past decade community.
‘Shiny Gold Car’ is another highlight nearing the end of the track listing. One of the more upbeat additions to the record, Tilston’s breathy vocals nestle sweetly into the chorus within the lyrically demanding acoustic gem before she counts us into the instrumentally minimalistic ‘Butterflies’, a track where Tilston’s vocals form the focal point and demand attention from the first emotionally charged note right through to the tracks fading out.
Machines Of Love And Grace is a beautiful addition to Tilston’s repertoire however there is criticism to be found here and that criticism would have to be the melancholic tone that insists on sitting heavily on the album. Individually the songs on the record fit well, however it can prove to be a challenging task to listen to it from start to end in a single sitting.
Tilston will be taking the album on the road at the end of the month to showcase some of the new material and I’m sure a range of hits from the stars decade long career with a performance penciled in on November 8 at West London’s Bush Hall.
The album is out on October 22.