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New Music: Laura J Martin - Prepared


he album cover for Prepared, the new record from Laura J. Martin

Prepared is the first solo album from Laura J Martin since 2016’s the Never Never, an album that received critical acclaim and one that fans all over the world fell in love with. Since that time Laura has collaborated with Lavania Blackwall (Trembling Bells) as Wyndow, returned to her home city of Liverpool and had the opportunity to take out an apprenticeship with flute legend Willy Simmons. Laura has spoken about this opportunity and the impact it has had on her creatively, providing her with the time to stop, think, engage her brain and learn how the instrument is put together. 


That feeling of being patient is instantly transferred to the title track that opens the album.   Prepared eases us in with a lovely, soothing instrumentation which gives the listener no choice but to stop what they are doing and give this album the time and attention it deserves. When the vocal enters the mix during the opening song you will instantly be glad you stopped what you were doing. There are so many distractions in life these days, we all need to carve out more time to stop, be present in the moment and enjoy what it is we are doing. Prepared is one of those albums that will help us be truly present and appreciate everything we hear and feel whilst in its company.  



After the gentle opening song, Counting Time comes next with an uplifting cheerful melody that will put a smile on your face and an extra skip in your step. This is one of those many magical songs that Laura creates which manages to push the dark clouds away, and leaves you hopeful for better days to soon arrive. The uplifting pop sensibilities continue with Living on the Wall which is a memorable duet with producer Iwan Morgan. Listening to this song you will be hard pushed to think of a better vocal combination than Laura and Iwan, their voices sound like they were put on this earth to be recorded together. If that wasn’t enough, the sounds that you hear throughout this song including piano, flute and drums will lift you out of your seat and transport you to a world full of beautiful colours, sounds where dreams come true. 



A Better Story is as comforting as a piece of music can get. The vocals and sounds will wrap themselves around you and in so doing feels like the biggest, warmest hug you have ever received in your life. The song has a very nostalgic and wistful feel to it and will be one that I am sure you will return to on many occasions throughout your life. Three Days is a fascinating song about how we all share this planet and time together yet so many of us live in different worlds, live in different time patterns, our paths cross yet our day to day lives are so different.  The song takes the subject of a shift worker, and the unsocial hours they work “Three days on and Two days off / Three days gone and two days lost”. Outside at Night continues the theme of separation, the characters we see every day, on the bus, walking past in the street, in the shops, we’ve all got places to go, different things on our mind and we never truly know what’s going on in that person's world. Laura took inspiration for this song from travelling on the 86 bus in Liverpool, and turned these thoughts into a fascinating, hypnotic song that so many of us will be able to relate to.


Dials is next and like with so many songs on this album you will honestly get lost in the soul of this song. The vocals and music all combine to create in a magical way that will hold your attention throughout. I love the way Laura delivers her vocals in a very quizzical manner, there is a very strong question mark when Laura sings the Dials? Magic Mornings has that feeling of escapism, looking out at the world at the start of the day and feeling that anything is possible. I am someone who loves the start of the day before the rest of the world has woken up and wondering what is going to happen today. Magic Mornings is the perfect soundtrack for all the early morning people out there. 


 

Open Door closes this perfect album in a perfect way. We have the wistful nostalgic feel combined with thoughts for the future. “Where life once were in the younger days”.  The swirling sounds created by the instruments towards the end of the song is something you can’t live your life without hearing. Trust me these are musicians who clearly care about the art they create and the least you can do is give up a small portion of your time to listen and appreciate the music that has been created. 


For eleven years now since the release of The Hangman Tree, Laura J Martin has given us so much music to fall in love with, so many songs to be inspired by, albums which feel like a time machine and can take us to the past and to a future where the world is full of joy and love. Prepared has once again done all of that and more. Laura J Martin you honestly are one of life’s greats and everyone needs to get a copy of this album right now.

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