This is our first official post from Patreon. Instead of waiting another year and change to publish new songs as part of an album (although that’s coming too!), this is a way for us to share music along the way while we build up the resources to do it right. Please do join the movement as a Patron, and share and invite friends you think would love this music to do the same! Click the link below!
Big thanks to Rob & Vanyaland for sharing the new music video with the world! And big thanks to Casey Spectacular and Travis Lynn for making this fun, quirky art for my song!
BY: ROB DUGUAY, PHOTO BY: AJC
The seaport Connecticut city of New London has had a quaint little music scene happening for the past few years. There are intimate bars and venues that cater to the punks and the folky types, while the I Am Fest takes the city over every September featuring some of the most legendary acts in independent music. A primary fixture in the music of New London is Daphne Lee Martin, who along with being an incredible musician owns The Telegraphrecord shop and the record label of the same name associated with her store. She’s also involved in a few arts organizations in the city and is heavily involved in organizing the I Am Fest every year. Her elegant way of singing highlights the songs she writes with subtle soul and infectious melody.
Today Vanyaland premieres the video for Martin’s haunting track “A Maturity Of Proof” from her fourth album Fall On Your Sword, which came out this past October. Shot in the basement of the old punk club El ‘n’ Gee which is now becoming the community run workshop Spark Markerspace, there’s a theme of the macabre that encompasses the entire video. Burning candles on a dirty floor, a hipster huffing spray paint, deer skulls and an awfully creepy looking lady are present. Even a bit of dark magic is shown at the end when the spray paint huffing hipster becomes a skeleton. Martin’s new music video seems like one the typical horror film fan would enjoy.
Genre-bending is practically run of the mill these days, but have you ever heard an artist claim to run the gamut from “elements of hot jazz, indie folk, latin, opera, hip-hop, and cinematic pop”? Meet Daphne Lee Martin, the woman behind this ambitious catalogue of influences.
On her single “Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Head,” she sets out to show off her chops as a truly versatile lyricist and vocalist, even incorporating a rap verse by artist SuaveSki. Her sultry vocals blend jazz and soul, but the music is inflected with a funky, percussive groove.
The video juxtaposes shots of Martin performing with idyllic shots of nature and surreal glimpses of black and white film. Lyrically, the song stays true to the commitment of her latest effort to tackle the idea of storytelling in all of its facets: “fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.” She picks her title from a biblical tale, and weaves gospel elements throughout.
Her latest album, Fall On Your Sword, will be out on October 2nd. Catch her in New York City when she hits the CMJ Music Marathon in mid-October, or throughout the rest of the country on her fall tour.
Songstress Daphne Lee Martin teams up with fellow Connecticuters Little Ugly for the latest in her series of covers, a take on Curtis Mayfield’ “People Get Ready.” The cover really shows off Daphne Lee Martin’s folk-roots which are accentuated by Little Ugly who themselves employ a full-time violinist. Martin trades off vocals with both Michael Day and Kaia Pazdersky from Little Ugly making “People Get Ready” feel like a real family affair.
Whispers… One of the hardest songs I’ve ever had to write. Not because the lyrics are particularly enlightened, they’re not. It was difficult because it was the only way I could work through the conflict of sympathy and anger I felt when we lost a band mate to heroin. Conflict? What conflict? Aren’t drugs just evil? Well, as most things are, it’s more complicated than it seems… And this confession is the hardest to write because it’s the only one that doesn’t hide behind another person’s story. It’s about us, right here, living and working together. It names names.
Life isn’t easy for anyone. We all know that no matter how numb we make ourselves, how many concessions we make to avoid fights or responsibility, no matter how much we try not to give a fuck- life still sucks sometimes. Health issues find even the most emotionally detached of us. Emotional pain strikes even the most financially successful of us. You can never take away all of the pain, no matter what. It doesn’t mean we won’t still try everything in our power to take the edge off once in a while. And even the noblest of us, those who do give a fuck and try so hard to face it all with dignity, fall short sometimes.
Artists seem to have it the worst. The nature of art requires those of us called to it to steer wide of pain avoidance. It asks us to remain tender, open, as vessels of the universal- to be spoken through means that we have to feel everything in all its gory glory. It comes at odd hours and in strange ways, so that we can never know when or where or how. There are very few nights that I can really sleep- the muse digs appearing at the moments when daily demands hush down. There is never enough money, people don’t like to pay for art- so those daily demands are harder to fill than they would be if we could just shut it off and do something more salable. But we can’t, we’re compelled by something bigger than us to be creative. Problem is, the only way out, it doesn’t end well for anyone.
Most of the artists I love the most and try to emulate are drunks, sex addicts, junkies, anarchists. They are the ones whose lives I want, theirs are the fantasies I indulge in, the dreams I most understand. I’ve never done heroin, never smoked crack, never even taken acid or ecstasy. Me! You’d think… but no. I’m no goodie two shoes, if you listen to my songs you already know that. I’m a coward. I’m completely paralyzed with fear when I think about giving over my consciousness to something I can’t control.
Everyone has heard the story. It’s a cliche. It happens in every scene, everywhere. Some kids start goofing off with drugs just to see what it’s like, to prove something to their friends or whatever the reason, and one or two of them can’t stop, and then one of them dies. But there’s a subplot among the ones that don’t die, there are the ones that keep doing it, and slowly lose themselves and everyone that loves them to it. The ones that don’t think they need help. Whispers is my cry of desperation to them- the cry of ‘i understand why you do this, but you have to stop. we love you too much to bury you.’
All your whispers in the dark, promises you’ll never keep I saw you walking in the park in your sleepless reverie And you know she’ll never love you like me But those easy lies you’re seeking, she speaks
All your whispers in the dark tell me things that cannot be Like the beating of a heart will never cease And your words are ringing empty as me While those easy lies you’re seeking, she speaks
There’s a fire in the sky, light that’s growing by the moment And it’s time to say goodbye before I realize That you got everything you came for from me And those easy lies you’re seeking, she speaks