Raised in the rolling hills of North Yorkshire, Billie Marten released her acclaimed debut album 'Writing of Blues and Yellows' at the age of just 17 back in 2016. Since then, she has released two more albums, including the latest offering 'Flora Fauna', which NME describe as '"navigat[ing] a newfound confidence while examining what it takes to survive and thrive. It’s her most mature, vivid work yet – and would be impressive from an artist of any age."
We had a chat with the talented musician about her latest album, what inspired her music and her upcoming tour...
You released your first EP in 2015 at the age of just 16 which is pretty amazing. What were you listening to growing up?
I had my parents’ music collection to cement my taste and inspiration, all the good stuff - Bush, Bowie, Simon, Drake, Martyn, Armatrading, Mitchell, Radiohead and all the others. Incredibly lucky to have heard such good things so early on. They all subtly inspire the records I make.
Your latest album, ‘Flora Fauna’ was released this year, what inspired the album?
Lots of things, mostly the feeling of abundance and appreciation in self-worth. Feeling like you have the confidence to tackle anything and along with that comes some difficult insular subjects that need to be addressed (socio-political commentary/questions on love/meaning/existentialism, environmental impacts). Above all I wanted to feel like fresh music was being made and that came with a new take on a bolder style of performing and my collaboration with Rich Cooper.
Tell us about growing up in North Yorkshire, do you think it helped shape your musical style?
I think it shaped my lyrical output as I didn’t have much else to write about but my surroundings growing up in the dales, but musically not at all as I didn’t have much of a music scene. It was very much a case of guessing and eventually making my way down to London to start collaborating and gaining perspective of the people in a wider sense.
What artists/music are you currently enjoying?
I’m really enjoying the new Marling/Lindsay LUMP album collaboration. The newish Katy J Pearson record is really great, and an aloof band going by the name Coco whom I know nothing about other than their music is beautiful.
You supported Snow Patrol on their previous tour, how was that?
I did indeed, it was certainly a whirlwind to go from the length of England to the overwhelming expanse of the US. Each state and city drastically different from the last, but the band were lovely and kind-hearted and we had a great time out there.
Are you excited to hit the road and start performing live again next month?
Of course I am! It’s been over two years since I played a full band show, so I’m immensely excited to return. Hopefully people will come out and play with us.
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