Review – Martha Wainwright

Album: Goodnight City
Release date: November 11, 2016
Genre: Folk/Rock/Alternative

Martha Wainwright is one of the most iconic and recognizable voices in Canadian music. A musical purebred born to singer Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian folk artist Kate McGarrigle. Recording and releasing music for almost two solid decades, Wainwright has just released her latest full length studio album, Goodnight City. With fourteen strong tracks, Goodnight City is a combination of everything Martha Wainwright, and then some. Writing more than half the album by herself Wainwright was able to showcase her songwriting skills, parallel to her exceptional vocals including the albums lead single, “Around The Bend.”

Wainwright collaborated with some of the industry’s best writers and producers to ensure that Goodnight City had some strong music to offer. Recorded in Montreal, Wainwright commented on creating the album and being able to connect through each track; “Because these writers know me and because I was able to personalize these songs by changing things here and there, I made them feel as if I wrote them myself. Somehow they wonderfully reflect my life and I am so thankful to the other artists for writing them.”

Goodnight City kicks off with the lead single “Around The Bend.” Instantly captivating, “Around The Bend” is raw and honest. With its lyrics touching on everything from drug use, to personal growth, you can hear the truth within each note that Wainwright effortlessly delivers. With its delicate arrangement coupled with Wainwrights vocals, “Around The Bend” quickly became one of my personal favorites on the album.

Shifting seamlessly from track to track, Goodnight City is full of creative tracks, and showcases of Wainwright’s talents. Each track becomes its own unique listening experience. From “Franci” to “Francis” and everything in between, Goodnight City is some of Wainwright’s best musical work to date. The album contains hair raising and downright emotional vocal performances; “Traveller,” “Alexandria,” and “One of Us” come to mind as some of my personal favorites on this album.

Goodnight City is full of musical gems. Each track leaves something for everyone. Mixed with modern-day-folk and groovy retro vibes, the arrangements on this album are organic and original. Produced by Thomas Bartlett and Brad Albetta, Wainwright touched on recording the album and being in the studio; “Making Goodnight City was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Thomas (keys), Brad (electric/bass), Phil Melanson (drums), and I would sit in a circle and work out arrangements for these vividly different and very good songs. Recording them live with very few overdubs the focus remains on the integrity of the song and our ability to play together as a band. It was often exhilarating and sometimes for me, who was the most out of practice, quite exhausting. My fingers bled, my voice got sore but we pushed through to get to the sound of oneness which I think is achieved on this record.”

Hard work pays off, and Wainwright delivers a polished album that is sure to impress fans and earn Wainwright an even more loyal fan base. Wainwright will be performing in Montreal and Toronto this month to promote Goodnight City.

Goodnight City Track Listing:
Around the Bend
Look into My Eyes
Before the Children Came Along
Piano Music
So Down
One of Us
Take the Reins

Upcoming Tour Dates:
16 Nov – Rialto Theatre – Montreal, QC
23 Nov – Virgin Mobile Mod Club – Toronto, ON
24 Nov – Masonic Hall – Stratford, ON

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