This Banoffee article was written by Thomas Titeux, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse
In an Internet era where leaving your mark can be a gamble for artists, Martha Brown’s (aka Banoffee) last year breakthrough reminds us – if needed – that a sincere and natural combination of creativity, emotion and art can only take you as far as you want. Having performed her debut self-titled EP in Byron Bay’s Splendour In The Grass and New York’s CMJ, amoungst others, it looks like Banoffee won’t be looking back anytime soon.
‘Do I Make You Nervous?’ EP is the Melbourne based singer’s second offering, and was entirely produced by long term collaborator and friend Oscar Key Sung. It follows the same recipe of their previous work but make no mistake, nothing here is taken for granted. The five tracks form a grooving and uplifting project that keeps on getting better with each repeat, and it definitely takes a few listens to fully get around the twists of her majestically layered vocals, gliding synth and counterpoint rhythm giving Banoffee’s music a unique twist.
Over a minimalist beat and a simple organ synth melody, ‘Oceans’ opens the EP as a reflection of Banoffee’s current situation and relationships. Time feels suspended as she floats over an ocean of emotions; it is an artist speaking without filter, letting us know of her natural doubts and self-consciousness.
Then comes ‘With Her,’ the lead single, which is a dreamy, catchy, electro pop song you wouldn’t want to miss on your summer playlist. “Don’t worry about her…” says an almost inaudible male voice on the phone. Then comes along aquatic piano notes and floating textures, bringing a spacey ambient to the song. Kick drum resonates in the background like the heartbeat of someone who is starting to see the whole picture, and when Martha starts to sing the lyrics “With her” it is with the relief and shortness of breath of someone who is now ready to move on from the past.
The melody gets happier and gives to the chorus a real energy, and lifting the mood and leaving the sad emotions aside. Martha’s influences from old disco and RnB artists like Drake, Ne-Yo, Mario are easily recognisable and form a coherent ensemble. “Maybe I just don’t get it… shall I enjoy being hurt?” comes like a conclusion of a young woman who knows time has come to turn the page.
‘Fall Fast’ is a little roller-coaster, yet keeps a minimal approach; once again, using that organ synth sound identifiable to many of Banoffee’s songs. Sometimes the beat tends to accelerate but slows down suddenly leaving room for Martha‘s voice to fully express herself.
‘I Am Not Sorry’ brings a strong emotion from the start as Martha wants to break free from a destructive relationship. The combination of pitched voices and effects work perfectly, and the lyrics are powerful – “How long is too long to live under your hate?” – before the outro takes a twisted turn as a 4/4 dance beat comes in. She then closes the EP with ‘Bodysuit,’ a little slow jam bringing some inner peace, “It’s all for you but it is really for me”.
It does feel like more than five songs long sometimes, as a lot is happening throughout the 19 minutes of ‘Do I Make You Nervous?’ And needless to say, Banoffee is here to stay. Her artistic video and involvement with fashion makes her a complete artist you irresistibly feel drawn to.
‘Do I Make You Nervous?’ EP is out on the 2nd October via Dot Dash/Remote Control Records.