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May sees the release of a brand new album from the excellent Laura J Martin, entitled 'Prepared'. To coincide with the album, Laura will be playing in the shop on Saturday May 18th at 2pm. For priority entry, pre-order 'Prepared'.

Pre-order 'Prepared' HERE

About the album:

On May 17th, Laura J Martin is set to make her return with the release of her new album, Prepared via Summer Critics. The album follows the release of her 2021 critically acclaimed collaborative album Wyndow, and is Martin's first solo material since 2016.

Today, to make the announcement, she has shared the album's title-track. 'Prepared' is a hymn to self reliance but not to perfection, it's to working your own routes and abandoning the tape measure," says Martin, of the new single. "In part it's looking back at ways you judged yourself in past encounters and not recognising yourself: 'I turned away again, was I even there'

The single is released alongside an accompanying music video, shot at Martin Mere in Lancashire, directed by Jess Swainson. "It's my tribute to binocular days, the ever changing silence of quiet obsessions and the joy of camo," says Martin. "I was guided by pro twitchers at WWT Martin Mere, and the video investigates the post wellness invigoration of being in the wild marshy wetlands of Lancashire."

Following the release of her 2016 album On The Never, Never, Martin knew that she wanted to take a break from writing and recording music. She moved back to Liverpool, from London, and began an apprenticeship with world renowned flute maker Willy Simmons.

'I was now looking at an instrument I'd been playing all my life at a molecular level. The discipline and repetitiveness of learning a craft freed my mind from thinking about songs for a bit and made me focus instead on some of the toxic chemicals and blow torches used to make the flutes, she says. 'I've never been a particularly mindful person; I'm usually zipping from one thing to the next and this work had a pace of its own which I had to submit to. As well as making flutes, I was also repairing them, and this was the part I most enjoyed the process of renewal. In a corny way, I experienced this renewal myself.'

Following this period, Martin felt inspired to make music again and began setting up her own home studio. 'Around this time, I'd started to listen to Joanna Brouk and the I am the Center compilation of early New Age music on Numero Group. This music was nothing like my own but seemed to extend from the Harmonia records I love and exist outside of the album, gig, tour regime. It was so inspiring and freeing, and I tentatively began to experiment in the studio, with the textures of Brouk's song 'Maggi's Flute' in mind.'

Working closely with co-producer Iwan Morgan (Euros Childs, Cate Le Bon, Gruff Rhys, Georgia Ruth), the pair found themselves drawn to drum machines that wouldn't stay in time, and a piano with a tuning mind of its own. 'I rediscovered the sense of play which brought me into music in the first place,' says Martin. 'The palette was infinite and without boundaries. Where my previous records had always operated within the instinct / lack of budget axis, I now had the possibility to sculpt sound, to remake, blend and remodel it for the first time.'

Collaborative sojourns to Marco Rea's The Barne studio in Clydebank and Mike Lindsay (Tunng, LUMP) in Margate allowed Martin to coax standout contributions from both, shaping the album as both artist and co-producer. The result is a unique fusion of folk, electronic, and experimental pop music that defies expectations and challenges the boundaries of contemporary music.

'In a twisting but circuitous way, Prepared is my composted scrapbook of the last couple of years. I was prepared to follow where the sounds took me, the sonic train left the station and led me on its merry way,' she says. 'It's not an album about flute repairing but it wouldn't have happened without learning the discipline of preparedness, the small movement, the tweak and the renewal from Willy Simmons.'



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