2 Limits Of Our Love
3 Your Armor
4 Every Time It Rains
6 Sweet Chariot
8 Up All Night
10 Parade On
11 Something Like A Hero
12 Beautiful Life
13 Wild Horses
Do you know that feeling, when you listen to an artist and think you should have known that artist earlier? Charlotte Martin is one of those artists for me. I first discovered her late 2012 and was instantly blown away.
Reading on the web I found out she is married to Ken Andrews, who on his behalf fronts the alternative rock band "Failure", another great band i learned to love far too late. I also found out that she was often compared to Tori Amos, another great performer.
The track that introduced me to Charlotte back then was "Limits of Our Love" from this very album. This song has a definite Kate Bush feeling to it.
So at this point I had 3 connection points to her music. Kate Bush, Failure and Tori Amos.
On Your shore starts off with the title song and a strong piano hook, which as it turns out, is a trademark of her music. The style of piano playing is remarkable. Mentioned easy hooks get you, well - hooked, while there is happening quite a lot in the lower registers. After a few minutes the drums kick in and layered vocals make up the refrain. There you have the typical Charlotte Martin song-formula.
If that sounded negative, be assured, it isn't. The fact she found her typical style of song, does - by no means - conclude her writing the same song over and over again. No, quite the oposite, her predictive way of writing songs results in equally high quality to all her outputs so far. And especially this one.
So what's with the influences? Tori Amos is, of course, an obvious comparison. Piano, drums, no fear of using the lower half of her instrument. Yes, there are a lot of similarities here. But where Tori tends to sound weird at times Charlotte always captures the right amount of Pop-appeal. Is it pop though? Stand-out track "Limits of Our Love" begs to differ. Triple drumming and a rather dark atmosphere make this more a goth-hymn than your typical pop song. Without the clichees, that is. And I said it before. This could be a Kate Bush song.
This leaves the 3rd connection, Failure. Well, rest assured, Charlotte Marting is not a rock artist. But her sound shows a lot of love for this genre. The song "Steel" finishes with a piano/guitar final, that leaves nothing to be desired. I am sure I would have enjoyed this even in my louder youth.
One thing has to be pointed out though: Charlotte Martin is definately not a copy cat. Yes, there are similarities, but she mixes those to her own musical cocktail in such a captivating way, that I can only conclude with my final statement:
"On a Shore" is a classic in every way. If you have missed it, use this day, which marks it's 10 year anniversary. And once you fell in love with it, dive into the rest of her discography, which is of equal quality.