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REVIEW: Billie Marten @ Resident Music, Brighton, 30/04/2019

The Verse’s Francesca Thornton reviews Billie Marten’s gig at Resident Music in Brighton. 

Billie Marten’s music is the perfect accompaniment for a calm, Sunday morning, sat on a garden patio with a cup of tea while the sun glistens through the trees… or for an intimate gig in Resident Music, Brighton. Gathered with a small crowd inside, the atmosphere was perfectly intimate for Marten’s ambient electric guitar tones and ghostly-smooth vocals, complimented with the soft percussion from drummer Jason.

One song performed was ‘Live’ which featured on her second album. While the original album version is played on acoustic guitar, Marten opted to play the song with ambient electric guitar, almost redefining the staple tone of the song. The transition was welcomed, with the combination of the soft snare from the percussion giving the song a warm body. Billie’s vocals are effortlessly ethereal, the words gently falling onto the crowd’s ears like a whisper of wind. If nature were to produce its own songs, I’m pretty sure it would have the characterisation of Billie Marten’s music.

It’s almost hard to believe Marten is only 19 years old with vocals that are both mature and mellow with perfect control; however, when you consider she first shot to fame at 12 years old after she went viral on the internet, it’s understandable when she’s had years of experience. Speaking with Billie after the gig, she explained how music is a “family thing”, her dad teaching her guitar at a young age and having written her first song at only nine years old. Just listening to her music is a testament to this family pastime and her dedication to music.

While tuning for the last song, Marten explained how she had made her own cookies and offered them out to the crowd, proving she is undoubtedly sweet in both song and manner. I managed to nab a cookie myself after the gig, and the gooey texture resembled how I felt inside when listening to Billie’s music. Having personally been a fan of Marten since her feature on BBC Introducing in 2015 with her song ‘Heavy Weather’, it was a real pleasure to be up close and experiencing her music in person.

The final song that completed the set was Boxes, one of her newest from her newly released album, ‘Feeding Seahorses by Hand’. The song, along with the rest of her set, was perfectly performed; if you were to close your eyes while stood listening to Marten, you could almost feel yourself drifting into a dream-like state as her lullaby-reminiscent songs wrap a warm hug around both your ears and soul.

If you’re searching for a new album to have as your chill-out music or as a perfect accompaniment to your studies, I highly recommend Billie Marten’s ‘Feeding Seahorses by Hand’. Each song flows beautifully into the next like a well-written narrative of a film. Each defined with their own characteristics but overall providing a soft, harmoniously airy masterpiece.

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