Having been fortunate enough to spend her childhood immersed in music, it seems logical that English-based songwriter Martha Tilston would make it her career.
The daughter of songwriter Steve Tilston and stepdaughter to folk-singer Maggie Boyle, Martha Tilston has been steadily releasing her music professionally since the turn of the 21st century, when she and musician Nick Marshall formed the musical duo, Mouse, and began to tour much of Europe with the release of their only album, Mouse Tales.
After a two year ride together, Tilston was invited to join Damien Rice on his tour in Ireland in 2002.
During the years that followed, Tilston continued to write and toured tirelessly throughout England, building a reputation for her enchanting live shows
In 2005, Tilston self-released her official solo album with Bimbling, funded primarily on the sale of paintings she created to correspond to many of the album’s songs. Among its finest tracks include like the beautifully eerie “Red” and the thick, heavy strings on “Fire Wood.”
The following year, Tilston created RopeSwing and released it with Pond Life Studios who continue to make the album available as a free download.
The ‘Til I Reach The Sea EP was released last year, featuring selections from Tilston’s previous outings as well a couple of newer songs. For the unacquainted, this is perhaps the best way to introduce yourself to Tilston’s brand of folk. And at only $1.99 on iTunes, it’s quite a bargain.
Tilston’s latest album, Of Milkmaids & Architects, was released toward the end of 2006 in the U.K. and earlier this year was made available for download on iTunes in the U.S.
Highlights include “Artificial,” where Tilston revisits the clockwatching days of working at a call-center and “sleepwalking” through each day. And on “Good World,” the songwriter makes her concerns known with the state of the world. The song, bound with a steady beat, and strumming guitars end with a repetitive, positive chorus, in which Tilston sings, “And it’s a fine world. It’s a fine, fine, fine world. And I think that maybe, if we sing this song over and over again, like a mantra, it will manifest somehow.”
Tilston’s “Songs That Make Sophie Fizz,” a song about her sister as a child, is dressed in lighter fare, but delivered with equal fervor and poignancy.
Milkmaids also features Tilston interpreting traditional songs like “Silver Dagger” and “Polly Vaughn” with pleasing results.
In an interview with England’s The Argus in 2006, Tilston was quoted: “[Folk music must be] open for each new artist to add and take away and do what you want with,” like “the motherf****r of all recipes.”
With her tireless musical efforts, it’s easy to agree that Tilston has certainly supplied many flavorful ingredients.
Martha Tilston is currently taking time off to welcome the arrival of her first baby and hopes to continue touring by the spring with a new album following shortly thereafter.