Maybe it’s the close-to-home setting or the more natural feel of live recordings, but Martha Ffion has never seemed more at ease than she does on The Wringer. Pop albums, especially those that hark back to the golden era, live or die by their vocals, and there’s a smooth elegance throughout the record.
In a strong showing, ‘In Your Love’ stands out by swooping and swooning with greater intent and ambition than most can bear to muster. If you’re singing love, God and Heaven above in the same rhyming couplet, you need to deliver something angelic, and its mission accomplished on that score.
‘Fool’s Gold’ shimmers (naturally), ‘Gentle’ features Martha’s JFK moment and ‘The Man’ has a strut and synth-feel that couldn’t be any more classic 80s if it was hiring out VHS videos from an ice-cream van. It’s a record of then and now, ideal for a generation who look back as much as they live for today, and The Wringer is charmingly paced throughout.
With the artist dropping her guard with respect to lyrical themes and authenticity, there was a potential to be exposed. If anything, Ffion comes out stronger, and with summer live shows giving a chance to gather momentum, this might be the time she lands a killer punch or two.
The Wringer is out now on Lost Map Records.