Martha (band)

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Martha band.jpg
Background information
OriginCounty Durham, England
Associated acts
  • JC Cairns
  • Daniel Ellis
  • Naomi Griffin
  • Nathan Stephens-Griffin

Martha are a rock band from Pity Me, a village in County Durham in the North East of England.[1] After singles on their own Discount Horse label and Odd Box Records,[2] their debut album Courting Strong, was released on Fortuna Pop! and Salinas Records in 2014.[3][4][5][6][7] As of 2019 they have released three full-length albums on cult UK and US based independent record labels.

They have described themselves as queer, straight edge, vegan and anarchist.[1] They have no designated frontperson and all contribute vocals.[1] Two members of Martha previously founded (and still play in) the band ONSIND, and another leads the band No Ditching.[8][9]

They have variously cited The Housemartins, Motown, Billy Bragg, The Thermals, Ted Leo, power pop, The Replacements, Heart, The Marked Men, Big Star, Masshysteri, and The Exploding Hearts as influences.[1][10][11]


Martha formed in the village of Pity Me, a suburb of Durham in the North East of England. Formed by J.C. Cairns (guitar/vocals), Daniel Ellis (guitar/vocals), Naomi Griffin (bass/vocals), and Nathan Stephens-Griffin (drums/vocals) in the early 2010s, they released their self-titled debut EP in February 2012.[12]

A year later they released the "Sycamore"/"Lost Without You" single on their own Discount Horse label. The band played Indietracks festival for the first time in 2013. After releasing a split single with American artist Spoonboy (David Combs of The Max Levine Ensemble) Martha headed to the studio with MJ of Hookworms to record their first album.[12]

Courting Strong was released by Fortuna Pop! in the U.K. and Salinas Records in the U.S. They followed it with more split singles with American bands Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez and Radiator Hospital, a repeat visit to Indietracks and an appearance at Glastonbury Festival.[12]

Their next album Blisters in the Pit of My Heart, also produced by MJ, was issued in mid-2016 by Dirtnap Records in the U.S. and Fortuna Pop! once again in the U.K.[12]

They toured the UK with Radiator Hospital[13] in late 2015, and played a tour of the UK and Ireland with Joyce Manor in July 2017.[14]

In mid to late April and early May 2018 they, along with Bad Moves of Washington, D.C., supported Jeff Rosenstock for the Northeastern and Midwestern leg of his US tour.

On 17 April 2018 Martha, filling in last minute for Yo La Tengo, were the guest band on an episode of The Chris Gethard Show on truTV.[15]

On 13 December 2018 the band released single "Heart Is Healing"; announcing they had signed to Big Scary Monsters in the UK and EU and had a new album following soon.[16] On 28 January 2019 the band unveiled title track "Love Keeps Kicking" as a single.[17] The video for which was the second directed for the band by friends Ben Epstein and David Combs of The Max Levine Ensemble.[17] The band's third album, Love Keeps Kicking, was released on 5 April 2019.



Extended plays[edit]


  • "Sycamore"/"Lost Without You" – Discount Horse, 7", MP3 (2013)[18]
  • "The Winter Fuel Allowance Ineligibility Blues"/"Fix My Brain" (The Marked Men cover) - Fortuna Pop!, 7", MP3 (2017)
  • "Heart is Healing" – Big Scary Monsters (UK/EU) / Dirtnap (US), MP3 (2018)[16]
  • "Love Keeps Kicking" – Big Scary Monsters (UK/EU) / Dirtnap (US), MP3 (2019)[17]
  • "Into This" – Big Scary Monsters (UK/EU) / Dirtnap (US), MP3 (2019)

Split releases[edit]

  • Split EP with Spoonboy – Nervous Nelly, 7", MP3 (2014)
  • Split EP with Radiator HospitalSpecialist Subject, 7", MP3 (2015)
  • Split EP with Benny the Jet Rodriguez – Drunken Sailor, 7", MP3 (2015)[18]


  1. ^ a b c d Hart, Otis (9 October 2014). "The Pop-Punks Of Anarchy". NPR. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  2. ^ Clark, Peter (28 January 2011). "Bearded Label Love: Discount Horse". Bearded Magazine.
  3. ^ Thomas, Fred. "Courting Strong - Martha - Reviews". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  4. ^ Brown, Paul (20 November 2014). "Album Review: Martha - Courting Strong". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 22 December 2014.
  5. ^ Clarke, Helen (26 May 2014). "Martha - Courting Strong - Albums - musicOMH".
  6. ^ Girling, Damien (6 June 2014). "Courting Strong by Martha (Album)". Songwriting Magazine.
  7. ^ "Martha - Courting Strong".
  8. ^ "Indietracks interview #13: ONSIND".
  9. ^ "Premiere: No Ditching - "Dickhead"". Noisey.
  10. ^ "Martha: Pop is Important. We Love it". 28 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Martha: Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart - Fortuna POP! - 8 July". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d Sendra, Tim. "Martha Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  13. ^ Baines, Huw (20 August 2015). "Martha And Radiator Hospital To Combine For UK Tour". Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  14. ^ "Joyce Manor and Martha are touring the UK and Ireland together!". DIY. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  15. ^ Chris Gethard [@ChrisGethard] (17 April 2018). "Yo La Tengo can't do The @GethardShow tonight. Luckily DIY heroes @MarthaDIY are scrambling up from Washington DC to play our show on last minute notice. They're saving our asses. AND their album is one of my favorites. Good, kind, talented people I'm excited for you to hear" (Tweet). Retrieved 24 April 2018 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ a b Murray, Robin (13 December 2018). "Listen: Martha - 'Heart Is Healing'". Clash. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d Rettig, James (28 January 2019). "Martha – "Love Keeps Kicking"". Stereogum. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d "Martha Discogs Artist Page".

External links[edit]