Martha, like the rest of the Wainwright family dynasty, is defiantly uncool: which is to say, the way Kate Bush or Joni Mitchell fail to give a shit about what ‘cool’ means. Bounding in theatrical flourishes, vocal leaps and screams, and operatic piano, Wainwright attacks everything with shameless intensity and bloodied determination – earning her critical acclaim and a rightful place in folk legacy. On new album ‘Goodnight City’, she draws from a wider musical palette than ever before, featuring Beth Orton, tUnE-yArDs and brother Rufus as co-writers in disparate styles, all produced by Sufjan Stevens’ right-hand man. But where previous releases have felt like sprawling exercises in virtuosity, ‘City’ focuses it all into cathartic, heartfelt songs, with Martha’s always-remarkable voice the dark and dramatic thread running through it all. Playing only a few select UK shows – and all outside the capital – this is one for the uncool kids; expect an avalanche of piano keys, murmuring sax, and a rush of percussion in an enveloping, intoxicating snowstorm.
Mon 30 Jan, Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham B3 3DQ. 8pm, from £20.50. www.thsh.co.uk
Published on: Sun 1 Jan 2017