“I really loved that” / “His music really takes you on a journey” – BBC Radio Cumbria / BBC Radio Lancashire
“Martin Wardley’s gorgeous vocals, characterful voice and lyrics have a storytelling quality that bring to mind Tom Waits” – Americana UK
Cumbrian singer-songwriter and poet Martin Wardley is preparing to release his upcoming third album ‘Naked To The Elements’ on 29th of October. An engaging compilation of ten Indie Folk-infused tracks, the album explores life in a pursuit of hope and positivity even in the darkest of times. The entire record is produced by the established Ben Matravers (East Life, Boyce Avenue) and mastered by Pete Maher (Rolling Stones, U2, Peaky Blinders). Previous tracks ‘Resurrecting The Show’ and ‘Make This Count’ set the tone and mood of the poetic album, gaining support from the likes of BBC Cumbria, BBC Lancashire and Americana UK, with Martin Wardley currently preparing the official premiere of his third single ‘Thrice Times’ ahead of the album premiere.
‘Naked To The Elements’ follows Martin Wardley’s honest and intimate reflection on tales of life, love, hope and loss, wrapped in his signature poetic style and Folk compositions. The album’s title comes from a demo song that did not make the final cut but best reflects the overall sense of honesty and personal significance, hinting at our vulnerability in the face of the natural life cycle. A complete body of work that needs to be experienced as a whole, ‘Naked To The Elements’ is a somewhat conceptual collection of real-life stories, written against the backdrop of 2020’s chaotic events and shared struggles, but carrying a dominant theme of positivity. Overcoming personal losses, Martin Wardley is determined to spread a message of hope:
“I consider myself privileged and a realistic romantic. I believe that we live in a world where health, opportunity and beauty exist for all beings. My writing takes this into account and although I may write about some of the darker aspects of life, I always try to maintain an element of hope. If we lose hope, then all is lost, and it is up to us all to help others retain hope and maintain the balance that strives to give all an equal opportunity. My words and music try to influence this.”
Despite its overarching tone of positivism, each one of the ten tracks adds an extra layer to Martin Wardley’s multi-faceted personality and inspirations. From exploring the idea of starting anew and the struggles in lockdown and isolation in the previously released singles ‘Resurrecting the Show’ and ‘Make This Count’, all the way to questioning the perception of loss and death with ‘Thrice Times’, every song opens a conversation backed with fitting compositions. Martin Wardley showcases his masterful use of poetry and music through gentle guitars on ‘Beautiful Lost Afternoon’ and ‘On Broken Glass’ and the uplifting piano melodies in ‘Out Beyond The Stars’ and ‘Diamonds’. Slightly more upbeat Indie Rock influences come to the surface in ‘She Walks Alone’ and ‘No One Watching’, while ‘No Doubt’ would appeal to the fans of traditional Americana sound. Speaking of the recording process and his true inspiration, Martin says:
“All tracks were written and broadly arranged by me. The collation and subsequent crafting of the writing which produced this collection of tunes took place over the space of a week. I had the luxury of being buried deep in introspection, mining a rich seam of memories, trawling through reams of poetry and prose and holed up in an isolated converted farm building deep in a Cumbrian vale.”
When not composing, Martin Wardley is busy between his family and business, always looking to spend time outdoors around his local town of Kendal and running his weekly poetry column. Martin Wardley’s main influences cover legendary musicians and lyricists like Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Bon Iver, as well as an eclectic mix of punk, folk, electronic and surf rock, all of which are intertwined within his versatile songwriting. Martin Wardley is looking to promote his forthcoming ‘Naked To The Elements’ across the UK in a series of stripped-down acoustic performances. Follow his socials for future announcements and gig updates.