Album Review: Martha Ffion – Sunday Best

The clocks have gone forward, the light is beginning to return so it feels like the perfect time to listen to this spring blossom of a new album from Martha Ffion. Sunday Best is a wry take on modern love, full of lush indie pop gems that can’t help but but brighten your mood.

Opening the album is Missing You a sweet song about the uncertainties of being in a relationship. She can’t sleep because worry and fear have a grip on her heart. Real Love is a more whimsical take on the random nature of romance. The music sounds almost like a poppier, happier Mazzy Star; other comparisons have been made with Jenny Lewis and Camera Obscura and I can definitely hear their influence in the smart songwriting on this album.

Take Your Name channels some sixties girl groups vibes with its perfect vintage pop style. Lyrically it explores the problematic question of commitment and marriage. Can love ever last forever anymore? Do we even want it to? Whatever the answer, this song is a blissful way to worry away some time wondering.

Punch Drunk is the catchiest song on here, although at this point in the album the doubts about love begin to rise to the surface. When she sings ‘oh my love’ it’s almost in exasperation at the drunken behaviour of her other half. ‘I’ll carry you home one more time and then it’s over’, she sings, but it’s hard to know whether to believe her.

Record Sleeves goes back to her teen years, exploring a toxic friendship (or possibly family relationship). Life never failed to fail you but you took it out on me…take it easy on me, on yourself at least she pleads. No Applause sounds great, with its Be My Baby drum beats, and lyrics which tell the story of an unraveling couple.

Lead Balloon is a perfect jangle pop song. ‘Don’t give in no matter what you do’ she sings, worried about how some people are easily bruised and run over by life. The tone of the album is best summed up by the piano number ‘We Make Do’. Life can be tough so there’s ‘no shame in facing every day with an overwhelming sense of making do.’ Her voice really shimmers and there’s such an understated brilliance in her songwriting. Baltimore might be a strange destination perhaps, for a singer from Ireland who is now based in Scotland, but this random tale of unexpected love is an optimistic way to end the album. Sometimes life turns out well when you least expect it.

Sunday Best delivers consistently catchy melodies, incisive lyrics and has a nice vintage shabby chic feel throughout. Martha Ffion is a welcome breath of fresh air worth seeking out and savouring.

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