Music » Feature

For Kristen Martell, the wait is over

After a decade away from music, the singer-songwriter celebrates a sunny new sound.

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Kristen Martell
Feb 1, 5-8pm
The Carleton, 1685 Argyle Street, free


If you've ever felt a tap at the base of your skull late at night—if your brain has ever hosted thoughts of what-ifs when your life is perfectly fine—then your playlist should go heavy Kristen Martell. The Mahone Bay-based singer-songwriter's sun-dappled sound refracts its own lightness, beaming into your eardrums with intensity that hooks. What'll keep you, though, are her lyrics about finding yourself.

"Music has been very healing for me. I took a big break and I think what got me re-inspired after a couple of years was just going through a rough patch—and I turned to music again, which was great," Martell says. "And you might consider that maybe my songs would be kind of dark and depressing... Actually, what came out was very positive and uplifting and inspirational."

After hitting pause on a budding singer-songwriter career a decade ago, music was forever on her mind. In 2020, she's heeding the call, with two folk-strained singles under her belt and a debut album on the way.

"I call my sound sort of earthy and grounded; I draw a lot of my inspiration from nature," says Martell, who counts artists like Rose Cousins and Gabrielle Papillon among her influences. "We're influencing each other all the time, and if I'm gonna make an influence on others I want it to be positive so that's my hope: that people can come away thinking about things differently, feeling more confident about their path or trusting themselves a little more." 

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