Christina Martin – Storm

Christina Martin

In the current age of the internet and availability of music there is an oversaturation on the market, leading you to have to search artists who have what you want in the music you listen to. One aspect of music that has been fascinating for me to uncover recently is this wise and honest depiction of someone’s life, which is exactly what I got in the album ‘Storm’ by Canadian artist Christina Martin.

I was immediately drawn to it from the song ‘Little Princess’, which is an incredibly strong album opener that discusses Martin’s childhood and her relationship with those around her. The entire song feels very personal, it feels like a confession to the listener. It is one of the heavier, more soft rock centred songs on the album, featuring an electric guitar throughout the song, which immediately grabs your attention as you press play. The instrumentation is also mixed in with an orchestral arrangement which is a staple of the record, adding to its mix of contemporary rock and pop influences and more classical, ethereal feelings.

When asked about the record Martin said that the second track ‘Stay With Me’, was “the song that motivated the album”, which becomes increasingly obvious. The entire LP’s songs are “reflections of the storms I’ve experienced in my life – trauma, loss, fear, and through trial and error finding gratitude through transformation, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. So, I guess it’s about healing, the never ending work of learning how to love, let go, recover, and be open to new things”, which is summarised beautifully in between the gorgeous and powerful orchestral arrangements with Martin’s lyrics, wishing for connection and stuck with only negative thoughts. It is a song that has such a dark, yet relatable topic, but handles it incredibly with an impressive ease.

It is this kind of masterful creation that makes songs which at their core are fairly simple, such as ‘Meeting Place’, a wonderful song to experience. The piano led ballad has a fairly simple instrumental and no belting vocal lines to build to, however it manages to hold so much emotion and hope within the song that it ends up being, to me, one of the most powerful songs on an record filled with loving and careful songs.

Another stand out song for me is ‘Still In L.A.’, which according to Martin “might be the only track specifically written about someone else on the album”. This song is another guitar led song, which is such a thrill to listen to as everything works in such harmony, the guitar fits the drums and the vocal melody and the electric, rocky feel of the guitar works surprisingly well with the strings. The strings are also incredibly smartly used as they are used sparingly in this track, just to add more emphasis to chorus sections and completely dropping out for moments like the guitar solo where they would most likely feel out of place. It is incredibly clever songwriting to be able to figure it out when a section of a song just does not work with a separate aspect of it and it was a smart idea to leave the guitar solo alone.

The final song ‘Healed’ is what really makes the album what it is, it turns these songs into a story with a happy ending using a simple piano line and ongoing strings. The song feels like it belongs as the finale in a musical, bringing an audience closure after the end of an emotional story by having a chorus repeat ‘We shall be healed’, which is a wonderful summary of the album. There is a theme of discussing past trauma and memories someone has and closing that by saying that you are ready to heal is a genius move and brings the whole album to a beautiful and emotional close.

This entire album tells such a wonderful and complete story that at times all you can do is sit there, listen and marvel at the songwriting prowess being displayed. It all feels so personal and honest that all I can do is congratulate Christina Martin on creating this stunning record.

Isabelle Evans