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"As I sat at the back of The Art Bar watching this performance, I quickly realized that this was the type of performance that I could just lean back, close my eyes, and float on the music. Arctic is a solo project of Marcus Martin’s, who is native to Yellowknife, but currently hailing from Vancouver, B.C.. His songs have an ambient folk rock feel to them and are very enticing musically, with the lyrics tending to invoke some beautiful imagery. His performance at NXNE had a very smooth flow, with the exception of the odd interruption from the karaoke bar next door, which Marcus took with a grin and worked into his stage banter, deciding to use them as his back up band. The Art Bar has to be the smallest venue in the history of music concerts, but the reaction that Marcus got from the crowd, both with his humorous stage banter and in appreciation of the music, you would think you were in a venue at least four times the size."

(Full text at - Being There Magazine - Review of NXNE 2005 Showcase

"He's got a unique touch when playing ... the guy knows what he's doing and will catch your ear right quick." - The Acousticwoodlands

"An especially fine songsmith... His melancholy melodies burn with ache and longing. And that voice! Is “dreamy” the right word I’m looking for?" - Molly O'Poverty's Guide to Mostly Free Music

"As Arctic began to play I felt my mood change from exhaustion to one of pleasure, for taking the effort to find out who was worth listening too, for hearing great music and for feeling like Arctic was playing for the sheer joy of music.

"I stayed for the entire show and was thankful that so many people suggested Arctic. Had there not been such a strong buzz about the band with the people that I had talked to, I probably would have gone home without ever having heard them.

"I think that goes to show the power of word of mouth!" - Brady Dillsworth Blog

"Actually, what Today Brought Me Here sounds like is a sane version of Thom Yorke's The Eraser - and that is meant to be a compliment because Arctic's intense focus means better songs. Some may take awhile to warm up to the electronic backdrops, but with Martin's lush vocals and the band's slow brooding build-ups, Arctic are bound to melt even the coldest of hearts." - Popjournalism

"Nice work and beautiful songs" - via email

"Your voice and vibe sound beautiful" - via email

"...Their melancholic harmonies mix in dark, haunting folk and ethereal art-rock akin to Radiohead or Fleet Foxes. Plus, if there were a soundtrack to the Arctic, a set of sounds that properly represented desolately beautiful spaces, this would be it. Arctic sounds, well, like the Arctic. It's bleak but meaningful music, like a distant light faintly illuminating a piece of tundra, despite everything else around it being pitch black."
- Echo Weekly

Arctic’s sophomore release, Today Brought Me Here, comes in a clear CD case with the band’s name melted into the front cover, with instructions on how to design your very own cover. Arctic, a.k.a. Marcus Martin (vocals & guitar), Kirsten Starcher (Bass, keyboard, backing vocals) and Todd Biffard (Drums), offer up some cool ambient and acoustic pop that fans of Radiohead and Elliot Smith should instantly dig. Actually, what Brought Me Here sounds like is a sane version of Thom Yorke’s The Eraser –- and that is meant to be a compliment because Arctic’s intense focus means better songs. Some may take awhile to warm up to the electronic backdrops, but with Martin’s lush vocals and the band’s slow brooding build-ups, Arctic are bound to melt even the coldest of hearts. - Popjournalism


2008 - Unbeliever EP
2007 - Today Brought Me Here
2003 - Music For Rain EP



ARCTIC was formed out of frontman Marcus Martin's desire to never, ever be in another band again.

After a childhood spent on the land in the isolated Northwest Territories of Canada, the guitarist travelled to the metropolis of Toronto and became involved in projects ranging from jazz to metal to rap. After dealing with the roller-coaster frustrations of band politics, he went solo, and headed west to Vancouver to write his own music. He began performing using a looping device that would allow him to record, modify, loop and layer his acoustic guitar performance into a haunting moodiness evocative of a cold Northern landscape. With a rich, unique sound of his own that was already gaining an audience, he had no need for backing musicians.

But strong music always attracts interest, and as time went on, others expressed a desire to join the project. Following two solo cross-Canada tours as ARCTIC, Martin was invited to open for a CD release party. On a whim, he put a trio together for the show. The full band version of ARCTIC was instantly picked up by a local promoter, and began to perform regularly around Vancouver. Despite his initial wariness, Martin found that adding band members added new dimensions and possibilities to his music - and by working with colleagues who were equally inspired by his music and vision, the band's spirit became collaborative instead of confrontational.

Kirsten Starcher, already involved in the production of ARCTIC's second EP, Today Brought Me Here, became the band's bassist, keyboardist, and backing singer. In 2007 they were joined by Todd Biffard on drums, whose creative blend of acoustic and electronic percussion would round out the trio's spacey sound.

Always seeking contrast, ARCTIC is still sometimes a solo project, sometimes a full band, never exactly the same from one show to the next. In either form it combines diverse influences in unexpected ways: progressive rock, jazz, industrial rock merge with ambient textures and acoustic singer/songwriter melodies to create something fresh, unconventional and intriguing.

ARCTIC is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

For more information, contact ARCTIC through Punchface Propaganda Machine at 604.880.6376 or booking(AT)