RIOT Introducing #25: MarthaGunn

For MarthaGunn, music is all about connection. So, in a year so devoid of human contact, how does such a band cope? In the case of the Brighton five piece, by releasing an EP and two subsequent singles, as well as taking to social media to create a Songwriters Circle involving other artists such as Katy J Pearson and Willie J Healey.

Their latest offering, the poignant and reflective single ‘Honest’, came out in February. One of MarthaGunn’s most personal songs yet, it sees the band explore themes of loss, fear, and transition.

You released the EP Caught Up & Confused last year. How have you found the response to it so far?

It’s been so amazing to put out a small body of work that we are really proud of and to know that our fans love it just as much. I think we’ve gained a lot of new fans off the back of this EP which is always amazing, especially at a time when gigging isn’t possible. Being chosen as BBC Introducing’s track of the week was amazing. Being played on Radio 1 for a week was a dream come true.

What was the inspiration behind your new single ‘Honest’?

‘Honest’ is about dealing with a trauma and how that changes you. Once something major has happened in your life you are never the person you were before. It’s almost as if a new life starts the day something like that happens. You then have to deal with the death of the person you were before. It’s very sad and that’s not to say I don’t love who I am now, but I miss the person I was. It is also an ode to my mum for being my strength when I had none.

The way that this track came about was quite a spiritual process. Can you tell us more about that?

My mum is very spiritual. We were doing a meditation together one day and I wanted to know how to be a better songwriter. What was it that I could do to be better? I asked this question before the meditation and I was shown a piano. I then bought a piano and ‘Honest’ was the first song I wrote on it.

This song grapples with the challenges of leaving your past self behind. Would you say the last year (and all its difficulties) has changed you as an artist?

If it has, I am not aware of it yet. The only thing I’d say that is noticeable is that I have had no choice but to embrace social media more. I am actually a very private person so I find the whole idea of it a bit stressful. I think it’s only in reflection that you can see what has changed.

What are your hopes and aspirations as a band for the rest of 2021?

There are so many things we want to achieve. This year we hope that our debut album reaches the ears of many, that we get to play live (please please), and, if we are lucky, that we experience some festivals. Although I have some huge dreams for us, this year has taught me to appreciate the smaller wins and although the above may seem big to some, they were normal to us before this, achievable. I would be so grateful to play to people again.

Author avatar
Fran Hall

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