Martha Wainwright comes into her own with her fifth studio album
‘Love will be Reborn’ Martha Wainwright (released August 20th 2021)
In ‘Love will be Reborn’, Martha Wainwright continues the family heritage and reputation for penning and performing, often painfully honest, emotional, dark and light songs. She has endured a period of personal darkness for the past few years, having gone through a painful divorce. However, with this album, her first new music since 2016, she shows us how through creativity and her unique, bewitching voice, we can all find new hope and light at the end of life’s dark tunnels.
Martha has often played second fiddle (sometimes literally) to her brother, Rufus and of course, neither her mother Kate McGarrigle nor her aunt Anna, could ever steal the limelight quite like Loudon Wainwright lll, Martha’s father and her mother’s ex. But in this new album and set of tracks, Martha truly comes into her own. Recorded in her native Montreal, Wainwright has written all eleven songs, mostly from the studio basement of her new cafe business venture.
The title track was written almost off the cuff in about ‘ten or fifteen minutes,’ admits Martha and adds: “I was bawling. It is the first song I wrote after my last album and set the tone for the brighter future that came after it. It’s been an anthem for me since I wrote it and has helped me tremendously.”
Album opener, “Middle of the Lake” sees Wainwright’s forging a path forward as she sings over voltaic chords and percussion, “I sing my songs of love and pain / Winds of change or simply singing, I’m singing in the rain.”
“There are a couple major subjects on the record,” she says. “There’s really dark and then light. It’s reflective of a very difficult period of divorce. Then, after that, it’s meeting somebody new and amazing. And so you hear certain songs about this new love.”
The album does have its playful and sensual side running alongside some grim honesty. “Hole In My Heart”, which is a bit reminsent of the direct, no holes barred style of Alanis Morrisette, is an upbeat song, with Wainwright singing, “I got naked right away when I saw you / My love was like the rain when I saw you.”
“Other songs, Wainwright says, “represent me trying to shake away the past a little bit, the ball and chain of that anger, trying to escape from it.” One of these, the longest track on the album, ‘Report Card’ is surely one of these.
Its title and lyrics are typical of the frank and darkly amusing style common to all the Wainwrights, especially when singing about a broken heart. “Every night should be under the stars with me / and if I seem sad, it’s because I am / Gimme your report card I wanna read it again, while I put your empty clothes in an empty bin / can hardly make it through my gin…”
“Getting Older,” is about ageing and her new love. “We’ve got the time it takes to burn out the sun…” The album ends with a bow to the French-Canadian roots of Martha and her mother, Kate McGarrigle. ‘Falaise de Malaise’ (literally, Cliff of Unease) was cut from the album in June and sees her break yet more new ground as an artist.
“I’m actually playing the piano – which I don’t actually know how to do! I’ve been trying for years to find a song for the simple piano part that my fingers could play. I thought, might as well try writing in French too! I was able to tap into another version of myself – one that was dying to come out. I’ve always sung in French (Piaf record and various covers..) but this is the first time I’ve allowed myself to compose in it.”
So with this finale, Wainwright takes on yet another challenge and steps boldy forward. My verdict on this track and indeed, the whole album: Ces’t vraiment beau! Formidable!
Mon 20th LONDON, Union Chapel
Thurs 23rd FROME, Cheese and Grain
Fri 24th SHEFFIELD, Leadmill
Sat 25th BRIDPORT, Electric Palace
Sun 26th CARDIFF, Tramshed
Tues 28th CAMBRIDGE, Junction
Weds 29th BIRMINGHAM, Town Hall
Thurs 30th BEXHILL, De La Warr Pavillion
Fri 1st LIVERPOOL, Philharmonic Hall
Love Will Be Reborn. Listen / Order here: https://MWT.lnk.to/LWBRYo
Love Will Be Reborn tracklisting:
- Middle Of The Lake
- Getting Older
- Love Will be Reborn
- Being Right
- Report Card
- Body and Soul
- Hole in My Heart
- Falaise de Malaise
Musicians on the tracks are: Martha Wainwright- guitar and piano, Pierre Marchand – keyboards (and Producer) Thom Gill- guitars, Phil Melanson – drums and Morgan Moore on bass.