10 Questions With… A series that delves into the musical careers of some of our favourite artists, local and afar. With a particular focus on our Melodic Distraction friends and wider community, this lil natter gives us an insight into their musical escapades when they’re in their studio, not ours.
This time around, we sit down with Martha Goddard, a born and bred Liverpudlian singer songwriter. From her indie pop/rock band Hushtones to her more electronic and ethereal solo career, we talk to Martha about balancing projects, Kate Bush, and how to temper and channel that inner existentialism we’ve all felt before, into something positive and creative.
Hi Martha, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a singer songwriter which is the thing I’ve done the longest over everything else, the thing that is the most defining of my identity I would say. Jobs come and go but the writing has never left, it’s been a true constant. I’m born and bred here in Liverpool, I’m the singer in a band called Hushtones and I’m also working on my own solo project.
What influences, musical or not, are inspiring your current writing process?
The inspiration to write real structured music ended up being the remedy to getting out of my own way. I was incredibly shy and anxious as a child; I was often silent and red with embarrassment, it really felt like a kind of entrapment. I had to really push to get to a point of not accepting how I was interacting with the world anymore, so I started song writing and it became my catalyst of expression, I was able to convert that negative energy into something positive. As for influences, Kate Bush, she has this intrinsic ability to embody her music through her movements and performance. I don’t know if it’s something that I could do but it's inspiring and motivating how she personifies her music so seamlessly.
What would be your go to record to cover?
Going straight back to Kate Bush but I’m not gonna say the obvious one! I recently did a stripped back version of Army Dreamers by her at one of my recent gigs and loved how it ended up sounding.
On that note, what have been your most spun records as of recent?
Caroline Polacheks latest album, ‘Desire, I Want To Turn Into You’. Another artist that has this ability to showcase their music in the same way Kate Bush does.
What has being an artist in this day and age taught you about the music industry?
It’s hard work. With Hushtones we started off just jamming and gigging around the city where we could but there came a time where we decided to take it seriously. It was only then I realised how much time, effort, money and just thinking power it takes to get something off the ground in the music industry. There are so many factors involved that you can’t control, and there’s no guarantee that this thing that you and your collaborators have worked so hard on will be successful on a commercial level. It is stressful and expensive but ultimately, there’s nothing else in the world that will give me the same satisfaction that creating music brings me. I’m gonna do it anyway so if there’s a way to make a living alongside it then that is a bonus, but it shouldn’t feel like a bonus.
What’s your take on the Liverpool music scene?
It feels like a bit of a changing wave. Before the pandemic I feel like it had a sort of a cliquey feel to it, but since live music and in person collaboration has come back, it feels like the creative community can’t wait to help each other out now. Though it feels more supportive, I feel that the music scene in Liverpool can feel a bit static. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a proud Liverpudlian and I envision that since Eurovision was hosted here that it will rattle a few creative cages and help stir up Liverpool’s music scene again.
As a performer, what has been your most memorable gig that you have performed at and why?
Eurovision Village stage, it was the biggest stage Hushtones had played on. To play to this huge crowd in the place I grew up, with the River Mersey on one side and The Liver Building on the other, you cannot beat that. Actually, concerning the previous question, it would be amazing for Liverpool to use that space again for other events and outdoor concerts, it brought the city together to no end!
As you mentioned previously, you’re also a part of the band Hushtones. How do you differentiate your writing process between the band and your solo music?
With Hushtones, Mick our guitarist and I will get into a room and set ourselves the goal of writing a full song by the end of the session. We tend to demo parts into Logic and push and pull with the ideas. Once we have the bones of the song together, we bring it to the band, and they put their own spin on the parts we’d previously laid down and finish it together. When I write for myself, it’s more personal, existential, and intense to be frank, in a good way! It feels like a place that I can get candidly lost in that addictive ‘flow’ that I’m always on the lookout for.
Which venue can we expect to find you in next?
So, my next solo gig is in The Jacaranda supporting Kerry Feeny on the 31st of July and Hushtones next gig is at Wimin Fest on the 29th of July!
What would you consider your ideal movements for 2023?
I am close to finishing a solo project which will free up time to begin the process of writing the next solo project! I’m having to be more organised than ever, and having to exercise some serious willpower not to pull the trigger on the current project as I’ve learnt there’s a lot of groundwork to be done before release. And I’m also wanting to gig as much as I can, so this year is about releasing and planning for the gigs to come!
|| MARTHA GODDARD ||