Billie Marten has today shared her new single and video Human Replacement, the final taste of her third album Flora Fauna – out this Friday on Fiction Records.
The track premiered in Annie Mac’s much-coveted Hottest Record In The World slot on BBC Radio 1 last night and follows the sensational Creature Of Mine in providing a window into the new record and Marten’s growth as an artist.
Billie Marten has also announced a UK tour for later in the year, which includes a date at London’s EartH on 30 September.
Raised in the rolling hills of North Yorkshire on artists such as Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, and Kate Bush, Marten’s critically acclaimed debut album Writing of Blues and Yellows, was released in 2016 when she was still just 17, while its follow-up Feeding Seahorses By Hand was similarly lauded in 2019. Recorded with Rich Cooper in London, Marten’s new material blends those signature hushed, resonant vocals with a rapid pulse and rich instrumentation, her inspirations now stretching from krautrockers Can, to Broadcast, Arthur Russell, and Fiona Apple.
Speaking about the video for Human Replacement, which was directed by the award-winning creative Joe Wheatley, Marten explains: “This video is absolutely needed to match the message of the song, which was initially something I shied away from talking about. As creative discussions began between Joe Wheatley (Director) and I it became incredibly important to convey the absurdity of simply not being able to go out anywhere at night as a woman particularly, without that hideous stone-cold fear of what might happen to you. Hence every woman in the video needing the comfort and protection of full army gear to carry out the simplest of everyday tasks (like going for a run or walking home from work) and every man is without it. My trusty safety tank gets me to the shop for a pint of milk. It’s a deliberately absurd illustration of a disturbingly real problem that needed to be addressed.”
Built on the minimalist acoustic folk foundations she made a name for herself with, Marten’s upcoming third album Flora Fauna is a more mature, embodied album fostered around a strong backbone of bass and rhythm. Shedding the timidity of previous work in favour of a more urgent sound, the songs mark a period of personal independence for Marten as she learned to nurture herself and break free from toxic relationships – and a big part of that was returning to nature. “I wasn’t really treating myself very well, it was a bit of a disruptive time. All these songs are about getting myself out of that hole – they’re quite strong affirmations. The name Flora Fauna is like a green bath for my eyes. If the album was a painting, it would look like flora and fauna – it encompasses every organism, every corner of Earth, and a feeling of total abundance.”
Billie will perform at The Leadmill in Sheffield on September 19th and the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on September 24th 2021.