Experimentation is the lifeblood of any artist. But occasionally they experience moments when everything comes into focus, and suddenly they have opened a door to a limitless creative future. Christina Martin has reached that point on her fifth album, ‘It’ll Be Alright,’ a 10-song collection that finds the Halifax-based singer-songwriter attaining what her music has always suggested, a place where the ghosts of her musical heroes freely mingle with pop-rock’s modern architects. The album’s brilliance is its seamless blend of the past and present. The bridge between them is Martin’s voice, an instrument both haunting and immediate, traits that could also best describe ‘It’ll Be Alright’’s lyrical content. To say the album is Martin’s most accomplished effort to date is stating the obvious; what is remarkable is how her maturity has translated into her most accessible album to date as well. “With this album and the development of the live show, I am able to say a lot more with my music than I ever have before,” Martin says. “There is growth because we are all reaching for something bigger for ourselves and the audience.” Working closely with her husband Dale Murray (Cuff The Duke, The Guthries), Martin made a conscious effort not to be bound by the expectations of those who have categorized her in the past as an alt-country artist. Although she will never shed those influences, ‘It’ll Be Alright’ utilizes far more sonic textures, allowing Martin to explore the many sides of her musical personality. “My father and MTV turned me on to many types of music growing up, but I am probably more driven towards pop and classic rock,” she says. “Going into this record, we were clear that we wanted a bigger, anthemic sound overall. Each song needed to say something that would resonate with a larger audience.” Born in Florida and raised in Canada’s Maritimes, Martin’s musical journey since her first release in 2002 has led to extended stays in Austin, Texas, as well as Germany, from where she has cultivated a substantial following across mainland Europe. Along the way, she has earned multiple East Coast, and Music Nova Scotia Award nominations, had songs placed in television programs, and even performed for Queen Elizabeth II in Ottawa. It’s all set the stage for ‘It’ll Be Alright,’ and an ambitious live show that will take Martin and her band around the world throughout 2015. “I’ve wanted to develop the live production for a long time” she says, “with an aim to create special events that build a strong connection between the audience and the music. We also want to represent this album live as accurately as possible, and that means having an incredible band and team involved. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone in doing all of this, but that’s the exhilarating part of it.” A powerful album, a killer band, and an unforgettable live experience – for Christina Martin, things are shaping up to be a lot more than alright.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Underground chart position: 240