Multi-instrumentalist Phil Martin returns in September with his new album Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark. Unlike his acclaimed debut Before We Go To Paradise, released early last year and largely a solo acoustic affair, this time Phil has surrounded himself with an array of guests, providing a full band sound that throws light on the various hidden depths of his songs. Indeed, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark is something of a This Is Your Life of an album, featuring a roll-call of the various musicians he’s worked with during his long musical career.
Recorded in a number of studios – as well as making the most of the wonderful acoustic environment of St Paul’s Church, Brentford – Phil and producer Steve Parry, solicited contributions from current and former colleagues across the UK (and beyond, via the wonders of Dropbox), including members of Red Harvest, Kindred Spirit, Dr Millar & The Cute Hoors and The Bitter Springs. While Phil’s first album drew upon the influence of some of Britain’s greatest poets, the overall result here is a kaleidoscope of original song; a quintessentially English psychedelicised take on folk, pop, jazz and vaudeville that summons the spirit of Kevin Ayers and the Canterbury Scene.
Having served time on the 80s and 90s indie-folk scene with Dr Millar & The Cute Hoors and The Shanakies (Blur’s support band of choice for the Parklife Tour), Phil has latterly been found among the ranks of Vic Godard & The Subway Sect, Jowe Head & The Demi-Monde, The Men They Couldn’t Hang and his current band The Bitter Springs (recent recipients of considerable media love for their Everyone’s Cup Of Tea album). Influenced as much by Jake Thackray as Marc Bolan, Phil Martin is – in the truest sense – both languid balladeer and punk demagogue.
Phil will be launching Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark with a special show at The Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Rd, London on Saturday 14 September.
Praise for Before We Go To Paradise…
“Before We Go To Paradise is an achievement, displaying Phil Martin’s talents as a lyricist, composer, musician, singer and even artist… a remarkable album.” Pennyblackmusic.com
“Phil’s arrangements were spot on… as a writer, he hits the nail on the head. Well worth investing in…” 8/10 Whisperin’ & Hollerin’
“Refreshingly original…” Mudkiss
“Before We Go To Paradise is as fine a piece of songwriting as you'll find this side of Robb Johnson…” FATEAwww.philmartinmusic.com