Having maintained an increasing level of praise following two EP releases, North Yorkshire native Billie Marten has penned her first studio album Writing Of Blues And Yellows – a self reflective record that delves into exploring new and familiar landscapes.
The album begins softly with La Lune which sets the pace and lyrical approach of exploring a theme of change which plays out throughout the record. With a family history of song writing, poetry and music, Marten is able to effortlessly delve into a range of themes, telling stories of bravery and uncertainty which are clouded with an air of melancholy.
Writing Of Blues And Yellows unravels into an extensive and uncomplicated narrative, which for the most part is driven by an exploration of cold surreal landscapes. Heavy Weather and Untitled are both filled with images of the Marten’s home and the northern countryside. There are moments in which these landscapes take a new form in Marten’s music; birdsong can be heard in the home recording of Teeth, creating a greater sensory experience on a track which already touches on the sensitivity of trying to uphold and live out a true version of one’s self.
The album follows a slow-moving rhythm and pattern which is only broken on several occasions by the likes of Live which surprisingly stands out as the rare moment of teenage optimism. When it does pick up momentum, as in Green, it does so almost discretely as to still allow the folk tenderness of Marten’s voice to shine through. Marten’s vocals resonate a sense of calm which personifies itself in an album filled with bedroom style winter recordings.
The album closes with a haunting a capella rendition of Edward Barton’s It’s A Fine Day, a timely reminder of the delicate stillness of her voice and literary influences beyond her years. However, despite showcasing a notable body of work, there isn’t a depth that is hard hitting and despite exploring a wide range of themes, Writing Of Blues And Yellows struggles at moving past the initial layers of wistfulness.