A stunning combination of catchy hooks and ethereal vocals, mixed in with layers of stunning harmonies.
Being presented with the opportunity to have a first listen to a London and Southampton based alt-folk EP, was not an opportunity to miss. March, a pixie-esque, brooding multi-instrumentalist is preparing to release her new EP on the 21st of June, with the first single coming out on Friday the 14th. ‘Wear Me Down’ is an EP of four songs, and the first single bears the same title.
Sitting down for a first listen with a cup of hot coffee, early in the morning, grey clouds over head, I felt like I was really embracing the melancholy vibes of March. Her indie, folk vibes are obvious from the get go and she has been described by Stephanie Nieuwenhuys from BBC Radio Solent as: ‘’ Not afraid to push the boundaries and challenging what you might expect from an artist who you’d perhaps put in the folk category…’’.
As an EP written mostly from her bedroom, it is deeply personal, and in conversation with March I asked her what her main inspirations were musically. She told me that ‘’ I would say the things I listen to recently have definitely changed. I went through a phase of listening to a lot of prog and heavier stuff.’’ Now however, she told me, ‘’I’ve been listening to a lot of older music, like Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell’’ and you can totally hear this inspiration in her writing.
Like Kate Bush, she provides a deeply atmospheric and ethereal sensation in her vocals and her slightly spooky tonality which is comparable to that of Dodie Clark and Orla Gartland. The first song on the EP is ‘I’ll Stay’, and it really sets the haunting precedent that is consistent in this EP. Despite being somewhat repetitive, we are introduced to March’s unique voice and the pulling rhythms which make this song so catchy. She is capable as a lyricist and a musician, so I asked whether her family were an inspiration for this, and she told me that she comes from a very musical family, with her mother being a music teacher and all her siblings playing an instrument. ‘’A very creative house!’’ In her words.
Help Myself, is by far my favorite track on the EP, and lyrically it is totally different. With deeply emotional lyrics and effective use of percussive plucking to add another layer to the culmination of reverberating harmonies and a steady beat, it is a masterclass in pop/folk fusion. I thoroughly enjoyed it and know exactly which playlists I’ll be adding this track to once it is available on Spotify.
The title track of an EP, I think, is always the musicians favorite, and when I spoke to March (Kitty), she said it is the most emotional for her, as it links to why she changed her name as a performer, needing some detachment from her heavily charged lyrics, baring her soul in her songs and needing some separation from her personal life. You can feel this sincerity in the writing of this song.
The title of an EP is so important and I wanted to know whether March had considered any other titles for it and she said that she ‘’thought about naming it after a lyric from I’ll Stay which is ‘half the fun is dreaming anyway’, or half the fun’’, which I found really interesting as it is so different to Wear Me Down, with a sense of melancholic optimism.
There are many varieties of oxymoronic adjectives like that I could use to describe this eclectic style, so I asked March when we spoke how she would describe herself and her style and she said: I couldn’t agree more with this description of her thoughtful and intimate lyrical style and her building harmonies which truly create an atmosphere from the get-go. My only complaint about her writing is perhaps the use of a lot of repetition, but this in no way clouds the gorgeous songwriting that she is evidently very talented at.
Having done a gig last year supported by Uni of Southampton’s very own soul/pop collective Mokono, she is very close with the local music scene and will be hosting her launch for her EP at the Art House on the 20th of July. Keep an eye on her social media: @marchofficialuk on instagram, for updates.
March’s ‘Wear Me Down’ will be available from June 21st.