Christina Martin
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Christina Martin


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"PopMatters-January 2011 Review for I Can Too"

By Quentin B. Huff
“Hello”, I Can Too‘s opening track, is a grand introduction to anyone unfamiliar with Canadian singer-songwriter Christina Martin. Pointed guitar strumming complements an agreeable musical twang, underscored by smoky bass, and framed by tight drumming. Even without the lyrics, there’s a sense that the musicianship would have carried the project through, as the instruments burst forward to tell Ms. Martin’s tales in their own unique ways.

Nevertheless, Christina Martin’s voice is every bit the instrument that the guitars or the keyboards are. She’s deceptively effective as a vocalist, her higher pitch so fragile sounding while pocketing something powerful that threatens to explode beyond the song structure, beyond the CD itself, beyond your speakers even. Through the quick tempo numbers (“Hello”, for instance), the heavy drums, and the wailing guitars, Martin makes her notes soar, sometimes lingering on her words to great cooing effect, and at other times conveying the urgent yet soothing mood of the tune. The slower entries, such as “Picture of a Sadman”, find our lead voice with a huskier tone, a powerhouse that’s still conspiratorial, as if she’s trading secrets with you but you’re too engaged in hers to trade any of your own.

It’s this level of vocal control and musical craftsmanship that makes the first six of I Can Too‘s 11 songs damn near flawless, exquisite. Which is not to say the rest of the album falters, it’s more a matter of degree and intensity, wherein the front of the album hits more uniquely, harder and deeper, while the back end exhales with slightly more familiarity. Take, for example, the “Be My Baby”-style tempo of the Ronettes that arrives in “I Fear I Am”, as well as the slightly worn theme of loneliness. However, the CD gets extra points for the cool cover art, featuring a lone boxer, poised for combat. It reminds me of a slightly less exacting, self-searching version of the artwork for Aimee Mann’s concept LP The Forgotten Arm. As the art implies, the musical journey of I Can Too resides in the inner world, and it’s a heck of a ride.

"On the road with Christina Martin"

Hanging out in a mall in Toronto while her car is getting fixed isn't how Christina Martin had planned to spend her day. But when reached by the Times & Transcript just as she was set to launch her new album in the big city, that's exactly what she was doing.
The Nova Scotia singer-songwriter recently released her well-received third record, I Can Too, on her own label, Come Undone Records. It's being distributed across the country by EMI Music and follows her award-winning 2008 record Two Hearts. Martin is touring in support of the album with her fiancée's band Cuff The Duke, and they'll play the Capitol Theatre in Moncton on Thursday.
"Now that my car is in the shop, I can tell you that I do miss home," she says from Toronto. "But I could tell you when we start playing the full shows tomorrow with Cuff the Duke, the full band and everything, it's going to be great. And I'm going to remember," she says with a laugh, "why I just drove thousands of miles away from my home to play music."
Martin and fiancée Dale Murray live in Pugwash, N.S. She describes herself as a creature of habit that must adapt to life in a car, travelling from city to city, bar to theatre. That's the life of a touring musician, something she admits she never expected to be.
"It's kind of a weird place to be right now because I'm an indie artist, a do-it-yourself artist, and I only have so much money to pump into this smaller machine, so we did the big push (for the album release) and now I'm in that stage ... where I'm not sitting around waiting for news or people to buy the album so much, but it is kind of an empty space time where you're like, 'now what?'" she says.
"I feel a little bit anxious. I just want to keep playing shows and pushing this album, but I'm kind of a neurotic person anyways, so I'm kind of like, 'what the hell now? The tour's almost done, so now what?'" she says with a laugh. "I really have to reign myself
back and just go, 'Relax. You've done this before.'"
Martin's musical journey began about a decade ago. Born in Florida, she grew up in Fredericton and went to university in Nova Scotia and was aiming to be a businesswoman of some sort.
In her second year of university, Martin's father passed away.
"All of a sudden, I didn't see the point of anything I was doing in school," she explains. "I was wasting my money, my time. I was drinking my student loan away."
Taking advantage of the dual citizenship she has due to being born south of the border, Martin left school and headed to Austin, Texas where she found work as a nanny. She wound up in a circle of friends playing music and during a trip to Germany took up playing guitar. She headed back to Texas where she attempted to turn her many years of writing in journals into writing songs.
Martin started playing music for "spaghetti and beer" in Austin and quickly found herself recording demos of songs that became her first album, Pretty Things (2002).
Reflecting on her journey now, Martin says she never expected her career path to take her to music.
"Music has always been one of those things, of course, I always dreamed about. It just wasn't my time. I remember writing songs at the piano when I was a little girl, like eight years old. But I hated my piano teacher, and I hated the fact that they didn't want me to learn rock n' roll, they wanted me to learn classical," she says.
A young Martin rebelled and refused to play music. But, it later found her and she couldn't turn away again. Her friends told her she had a nice voice when she would sing at parties, and she started singing the national anthem at university hockey games.
After her Texas journey that saw her truly embrace music, Martin returned to Nova Scotia, where she recorded her sophomore album with Dale Murray.
The album nabbed Pop Recording of the Year awards at both the East Coast Music Awards and the Music Nova Scotia Awards. She was named Female Artist of the Year in 2008 by Music Nova Scotia.
On her third record, I Can Too, Martin continues to blend folk, country and rock with ease. The record features guest spots from Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor and Cuff the Duke's Wayne Petti. She says in the months leading up to recording, she and Murray listened to all kinds of Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Traveling Wilburys material.
"I definitely had a better idea of what I wanted (for her third record), but I have a hard time articulating what it is I want out of something that really starts out so abstract, you know? It's in your mind, it's in your brain. I can say that I really like this Tom Petty record, or this Roy Orbison record, this era of music, this vibe ... but I don't know that much about music to know how to put my music into something that I like or want."
Martin credits her fiancée, a musician and producer who has worked with Matt Mays, The Divorcees, David Myles and others, with coming up with great sounds in the studio to complement her songwriting.
"Whether or not we had actually took to heart what we had been talking about for months, we don't know, but we came out with something.
It always comes out a little bit different though, I think, than what you think it might turn out to be like."
As 2011 fast approaches, Martin is planning for music festivals and conferences, a tour of Europe and more dates across Canada. She continues to support the Canadian Mental Health Association as her charity of choice.
Martin says until she stumbled into her music career, she couldn't envision what her life might look like in the future.
"Now that I do know what I want to do with my life, I can envision the next 40 years, 50 years, what I want to be doing," she says. "It's great thing, and I feel really lucky."
Cuff the Duke, who have played Moncton before opening for Blue Rodeo at the Moncton Coliseum, will perform an opening acoustic set on Thursday at the Capitol and the band will accompany Martin during her set. - Times & Transcript- Oct 2010

"Sonically Assured Intelligent Country MOR- Oct 2010"

Sonically assured intelligent Country MOR

This is an album of instant charm. An exquisite voice sits atop some great arrangements. It blasts off with a joyous ‘Hello’ which in turn leads to the Tom Pettyesque ‘Daisy’ – a great narrative with a driving rhythm that was made for the Ventura Highway. The musicians are from the top draw and a sense of accomplishment filters through the tracks.
There is also a feeling that this album lacks an adventurousness which Martin’s beautiful voice could easily handle. ‘Stole Something’ is a case in point where the crystal clear vocal leads the listener through the narrative with respectful backing highlighting the voice and cushioning the lyricism but it lacks a vital something to create the tension. I suspect that something is the need to move out of the comfort zone of the traditional songwriting form.
‘I Can Too’ is a perfectly fine album of songs that plough a very familiar ( and well loved) furrow. Christina Martin’s voice is a fabulous thing and her song writing is certainly a cut above the average but this reviewer is left feeling that she has a far more exciting album still in her. That’s what’s missing – excitement. - Americana UK

"Exclaim Review By Jason Schneider: Oct 2010"

By Jason Schneider
This Halifax, NS native displayed a lot raw emotion on her last release, 2008's Two Hearts, the encapsulation of time spent slogging it out on the Austin, TX club scene. Martin's songwriting approach has always relied on a lot of Lucinda Williams/Marianne Faithful-style hard-won wisdom, but I Can Too is a great leap forward musically, thanks to production work by her fiancée, Cuff the Duke's Dale Murray. This combination has resulted in a vintage mid-'90s alt-country sound: jangly mid-tempo rockers offset by dark confessional ballads. What sets I Can Too apart though is Martin's commitment to honestly exploring complicated relationships. This is especially effective on the title track, which contains overtones that suggest a theme of revenge rather than empowerment, carrying over into the haunting "Subject to Change," featuring a suitably disembodied guest harmony from Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor. But the standout track is "Take," an unexpectedly sweeping, Springsteen-esque anthem that in an alternate universe would be a sure-fire radio smash. There's nothing to suggest that Martin won't get to that point some day. For now though, I Can Too still finds her lingering in the darkness on the edge of town.
This album shows a lot of musical growth. How has your songwriting changed over the last couple of years? I don't know if my songwriting has changed. There are songs on this new album that I wrote years ago and then songs that Dale and I finished in the studio. I just follow the same type of loose rules: try to be honest, try not to censor yourself too much and try not to bore yourself or others.
What's the story behind "Take" and do you think it might be the start of you moving in a more pop-oriented direction? Dale and I co-wrote that one. Although I really enjoy writing songs that lend themselves more to the pop and rock genres, I think it really depends on the project. It is hard for me to see myself moving fully into any one direction, but time will tell.
You're touring right now with Cuff the Duke as your backing band. Do you think a full collaboration might ever materialize? I would certainly love to hire Cuff the Duke to collaborate on a future album at some point. Since this album touches on some darker topics, we wanted strong rhythms and more up-beat tempos. It's been a thrill to play with them. -

"Christina Martin's Happiness- Sept 2010"

Christina Martin's happiness
Newly engaged, the singer-songwriter releases her third album, the very personal I Can Too.
by Holly Gordon
"I just have to find a spot," Christina Martin says while walking onto a beach in Pugwash, NS, before lunch on a Sunday morning. The singer-songwriter just arrived home from a whirlwind, week-long trip to Montreal and wanted to do this phone interview via her cell on the beach. With seagulls calling distantly in the background Martin tells me she's found her spot---and she has, both on the beach and in that larger sense.

After spending the end of 2009 and the beginnings of 2010 working on her just-released album, I Can Too---which includes guest performances by Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor and Cuff the Duke's Wayne Petti---Martin performed at the Olympics, played for Queen Elizabeth on Canada Day and, among other festivals, took part in Lockeport's Harmony Bazaar where Dale Murray, guitarist and singer for Cuff the Duke, asked her to marry him---on the beach.

"I've never been happier," says 31-year-old Martin, thinking on the past year. "I think it took a lot of work to get here. I mean, this happiness is a very recent thing."

It's something that's evident on her third album, which draws inspiration from Martin's tumultuous past. I Can Too's title track, first created years ago with Andrew Sisk and Dan Ledwell, speaks to the childhood worry of not measuring up---a feeling Martin says has haunted her throughout her life.

"Sometimes I get really excited about ideas and relationships and projects, and in the past I could get really disappointed really fast if somebody were to tell me that I couldn't do that," she says, adding it's a sting that came from people she loved.

"The song basically runs through very personal experiences where somebody told me that I couldn't do something. I remember my father telling me when I was young---he was angry---and he just exploded and called me an ungrateful bitch. ...He said that I would never have love in my life or that no man would ever put up with me."

Martin felt the effects of her late father's bipolar tendencies and love of alcohol and women when she was younger, and says she often thinks through the past to try and understand a family "where addictions, where substance abuse, hardcore drug use and mental health issues were real."

Martin's very close to her older brother, who is living with mental health issues including bipolar disorder, depression and addictions, and says she's very aware of her own desires "to spend, drink, do drugs, be promiscuous." Today, those desires don't outweigh her want for a happy and fulfilling life ---a healthy mindset that finds her on a Pugwash beach very close to her home with Murray. And when people ask her why her songs are "so sad," Martin puts on a smile and says: "It all comes from a place of pain."

Today, the self-managed Martin knows she can make it. After nine years of playing whenever she could, Martin quit everything and committed full-time to her music career. Over the past two years, she's won two Nova Scotia Music Awards, an ECMA and is releasing her third album through a distribution partnership with EMI---a step she took to get I Can Too out to more people, more places.

"I know I can do it, I'm willing to do it. I'm going to keep doing it as long as I can, as long as people will listen to me---even if they won't listen to me, that would be fine," Martin says, laughing. - The Coast

"Embracing Resilience, Salvation; Christina Martin's third album, I Can Too, spreads hope in the midst of darkness- Sept 2010"

The Chronicle-Herald
ArtsLife, Thursday, September 9, 2010, p. E2

Embracing resilience, salvation; Christina Martin's third album, I Can Too, spreads hope in the midst of darkness

Stephen Cooke Entertainment Reporter
With a dusty ache in her voice and the sliding, echoey guitar of her musical and romantic collaborator, fianc· Dale Murray, Christina Martin's third album I Can Too has a "wide-open-space" kind of feel.

Now the couple has the space to match the sound following their recent move to a house on Wallace Bay near Pugwash, Cumberland County, from Halifax, with its ocean inlet out front and a field full of sheep in the back.

"It's great. Dale and I love it out there. It's just so quiet and peaceful," says Martin, who launches I Can Too at The Seahorse Tavern on Friday.

"We wish we could be there more but we're about to hit the road for two months."

Martin might regret missing the tomatoes ripening in her newly planted garden but when you're planning to be touring for the foreseeable future, it's a sacrifice you happily make.

Especially when she's been so focused on maintaining the momentum launched by her second album Two Hearts, which earned her an East Coast Music Award and Nova Scotia Music Awards, and took her across Canada, the U.S. and overseas to Ireland.

In the past two years, she's also received a crash course about the music business, formed her own company Come Undone Records, played at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and met the Queen in Ottawa on Canada Day.

"You never know what the next few months will bring or how a new record is going to be received," says Martin, relaxing with an iced coffee in the shade of Julien's Bakery's patio during our recent heat wave.

"I didn't expect any of that to happen and even going from practically paying to play in coffee shops to getting a decent guarantee and a place to stay after a show in a nice theatre in your home province. . . . I thought it would take me 10 years to get to that point.

"That could all change, you've gotta stay on top of it all. I've been really busy but that would stop if I stopped working. I thought it was a lot of work when I started but it's become a full-time, overtime job."

Maybe that's why the title of her latest, I Can Too, sounds like such a determined affirmation, matched by Daniel Ledwell's cover image of a boxer putting up his dukes. (It also doesn't hurt that she got a boost from Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor, who volunteered his voice and guitar for the project.)

But the title is an apt umbrella for Martin's songs of resilience and salvation, from the opening track Hello, about preparing for the future after the death of a loved one, to I'm Gonna Die, inspired by a young girl coping with perplexing anxiety attacks.

"It's a little more intense. . . . This one deals with some heavy topics for sure and some of the songs were written even before some of the songs on Two Hearts," says Martin.

"When we were trying to think of what kind of album we wanted to put together and selecting the songs, I did have a repertoire of these songs, which fit together topic-wise."

What Martin hopes listeners take from her songs - as they did from popular Two Hearts tracks like You Come Home and Hard Day in June - is that you can still derive uplifting messages from dark times, even if it's something as devastating as losing the person you love the most.

"There are still things to look forward to, even after something like that happens," she explains. "Terrible things can happen in life and you can either use it as a motivating tool to do something positive or constructive with what comes next, or you can let it tear you apart.

"A lot of people turn to alcohol or drugs, I've seen that happen in my family and with friends, or you can write some heavy songs, throw them on an album and get EMI to distribute them across Canada."

After a few more Maritime shows, including a stop tonight at Lane's Privateer Inn in Liverpool at 7 p.m., Martin will join Murray's band Cuff the Duke, as it travels from Vancouver to Montreal before heading home for the Halifax Pop Explosion in late October.

The couple will probably get to spend even less time in Pugwash next year, as she contemplates heading back across the Atlantic for more shows in Europe and a possible trip to Australia "sooner than later," with the horizons always expanding.

"There's always something, it's constantly changing. You start doing it somewhere else and there's more to juggle, but it's exciting."

( 'Terrible things can happen in life and you can either use it as a motivating tool to do something positive or constructive with what comes next, or you can let it tear you apart.'



Musician Christina Martin plays tonight at Lane's Privateer Inn in Liverpool and Friday at the Seahorse Tavern in support of her new CD, I Can Too. (Ted Pritchard / Staff)

© 2010 The Chronicle-Herald - Halifax. All rights reserved.

Document number: news·20100909·HH·0Sep9new_txt0132 - The Chronicle Herald

"I Can Too Review- August 2010"

It’s hard not to like Christina Martin. She’s charming, attractive, genuinely seems to appreciate her fans and the tradition that spawned her music, and she’s put in the kilometres needed to build a fan base. In an age where the internet equates to hacky demos being broadcast to thousands of people and getting to open for big bands months before they are ready, Martin still plays house shows in rural communities hoping to connect to each and every possible listener. If the general music world is full of planes, she’s a romantic, slow moving train trekking across the country one rail at a time.

But over the last few years, Martin has added a spacey, sonic chaos to her traditional alt-country stylings, and the rough edges and – said in as a compliment – sloppiness she and her band added to the mix helped the new songs pop. That’s probably why the first few listens of I Can Too fell short for me. I expected her palette to be skewed, not fine tuned and as much as I loved Two Hearts, I was hoping she’d take some risks on the follow up.

The thing is, the more I let the songs play, the more of those risks I started to hear. There are countless moments of distortion and static, it’s just that Martin and producer/steel man Dale Murray folded the new textures seamlessly into her melodies. Christina spends as much time on the electric as she does her trusty acoustic, and as you might expect from Daniel Ledwell’s stunning cover art, the songs are muscular without losing her femininity (“Picture of a Sad Man”). While Two Hearts showcased her strums and voice, I Can Too is a fleshed out effort. “Take” is a bigger sound than I’ve heard from Martin on record and “I Fear I Am” finds Martin venturing into a timeless rock vibe that tips it’s cap to Mr Roy Orbison. Even classic Martin sounding numbers like “Stole Something” and “I Can Too” use bending steel and tender piano to make them something bigger than living room confessionals or ear pleasing coffee house soundtracks.

Really, all I wanted from Martin on this release was for her to take a chance, and although I was hoping for something a bit more gritty and rough, I’d be selling her short if I said she didn’t. Instead of a noisy, bar room ready record that would be embraced and ultimately forgotten, Martin opted to go make a record that could hopefully push her career out of living rooms and into bigger venues. Instead of clutter, she opted for clarity. That precision allows her to share the spotlight with seasoned vets like Greg Keelor and Wayne Pettii instead of getting lost and overshadowed. At the end of the day, while we Haligonians might love seeing Martin laugh on stage at Tribeca as the band cranks up the amp and distortion, for someone that works as hard as she does, taking the chance to connect with a bigger audience is something we can’t hold against her. - Herohill Blog

"Christina Martin Says I CAN TOO- Sept 2010"

Christina Martin says, “I Can Too”!
By:Lily C | Published:8/30/2010

Christina Martin’s “Two Hearts,” is the newly featured video on our website (

Christina’s is about to launch her new CD, “I Can Too,” on September 7th, 2010, and recently secured distribution with EMI. With a storm of activity impending, Christina took some time to answer some questions, share her experiences and give some tips to fellow songwriters.

1. Congratulations on securing distribution with EMI. What advice can you give fellow songwriters about seeking and securing distribution. Building any good relationship takes time. I encourage anyone to focus on making the kind of music you want to make, and then taking opportunities of as many conferences and opportunities to showcase your music live to interested parties. Its always a good idea to research WHO you want to work with, as there are many options out there, and then to personally invite key people to your live performances. Introduce yourself but don’t be too pushy or annoying. Just be yourself (hopefully you are not naturally pushy or annoying).

2. What’s your favourite track on this new album, and why? My favourite track on the album is I Can Too. Its definitely my favourite song to play live because things get really rock’n towards the end of the song. There’s anger, attitude and confusion at the heart of this song, but the message is meant to be clear and empowering for others.

3. This is your third CD release (according to your website). What did you learn from making the first two CDs that you applied to making “I Can Too”

Don’t be scared to speak up in the studio.
Keep it real and simple.
Don’t waste peoples time.
Don’t waste MY money!
Be sensitive to others when you are communicating that you don’t like what they are doing with your songs.
Work with people who have similar tastes in music and style and who are far more talented than you are.
Don’t be scared to try new things… but trust your gut in the end.

4. What is the story behind the title track of the album? “I Can Too” was written years ago. I recorded a demo of the song with two friends (Andrew Sisk, Daniel Ledwell) and then began performing the song live with a band. After about a year or so the song evolved sonically.

"I Can Too" CD Cover

I think for most of my life I have had a strong sense of needing to prove something to someone, hence the title I CAN TOO. My father was the same way. I can think of many different scenarios where I felt I was being told that I could not do something, someone was being disrespectful or abusive verbally/emotionally, I felt taken advantage of or was angered by someone else being taken advantage of, hurt by family or friends or by situations I found myself in around the world, struggling with feeling out of control. There were plenty of times in my life that I convinced myself I was not capable or good enough to follow a path with more heart, my own decisions influenced by subtle or strong ‘messages’ from loved ones and/or society, or by me just being confused. I think the 20's can be a really confusing time for people. As you get older you can really grow tired of beating down the things that feel so natural to you and that make you happy, only to live up to someone else’s expectations. I got tired of trying to live up to what I thought others expected of me. I grew tired of working for everyone else and feeling like I had nothing to hold onto at the end of each day. I was tired of being disappointed in relationships. Everything was making me unhappy and depressed. Its obvious to me now that even when I wrote this song 5-6 years ago I didn’t even have the confidence to sing the song to anyone. I just wasn’t there yet.

I decided to call the album I Can Too because I believe this song carries many simple and powerful messages, and reflects where I feel I am at today in my personal and professional life. The song dances around the themes of confusion and struggling with multiple messages in a big and sometimes very confusing dying planet. It is a song that I hope encourages people to move from a place of disappointment to a place where they can find meaning and purpose in life. Its about ultimately getting to a point in your life through trial and error where you have the confidence to do what you feel is the right thing to do, and having key people in your life who are supportive.

5. How long did it take to put this album together? Any major hurdles along the way? We spent about one month in the studio recording and mixing. I don’t believe in taking too much time in the studio to record a project. The only major hurdle was having to re-record the bass and drums for I Can Too three times. The first time the ‘feel’ was wrong when we listened back to the track. The second time there was a technical error and we could not retrieve the tracks to work with. The third time (and this was cutting close to our deadline) things worked out! It was almost comical as we started with this song in the studio, we were the MOST excited to record this title track, and had a clear vision for the song. However it ended up being the last track for us to finish recording.

6. What role has the Halifax music scene played in your development and growth as an artist. The Halifax music scene continues to be extremely supportive of everything I have done musically since the release of Two Hearts in May 2008. It wasn’t until I was more open to what the music industry had to offer me that things started to really develop and grow in all areas. I feel lucky to have worked with many of the best musicians in Canada in the studio and on the stage (Dale Murray, Adam Baldwin, Rose Cousins, Jason Vautour, Brian Murray, Kris Pope, Andrew Sisk, Daniel Ledwell, & Matt Charlton to name a few) and they have shaped my music as well.

The Funding Programs offered through Nova Scotia have been essential to my growth in recording and touring, as well as my growth in international markets. You don’t need money to write songs, but money and support have allowed me to focus entirely on my company and growing as an artist.

7. What’s your favourite part about doing what you do?I get to do all the things I love doing every day if I choose: Make people Laugh, Make people cry, Travel, Be Alone, Write, Organize, Manage, Be Social, Run, Swim, Have Coffee With a Friend, Write a letter to someone…. I get to live out my dreams. I have never been this happy!

8. What do you dislike the most about doing what you do? My least favourite thing is grant writing and spending too much time on administrative tasks, which unfortunately takes up a large portion of each and every day. But I’d rather work for myself than do administrative tasks for anyone else.

9. Any words of advice to aspiring songwriters who have yet to complete an album and tour as you have? Try not to be scared and be prepared to work your ass off! Figure out what you want to accomplish (i.e MAKE A PLAN) and every day work towards achieving your goals… one day at a time… every day! AND you are NEVER too young or too old to start doing what you love to do!

To read more about Christina Martin, visit her S.A.C. profile:

Leave a message about this article on our blog: - Songwriters Association of Canada

"Christina Martin- I Can Too- September 2010"

Another extremely talented female singer-songwriter from Atlantic Canada, Christina Martin throws her hat into the ring with her excellent new record I Can Too. Think of her as a female Tom Petty or as a nice compliment to Kathleen Edwards; she’s got the chops, some great backing musicians but most importantly, the songs. She sticks close to roots-rock throughout these 11 songs with highlights including the title track, Subject To Change and Lit Cigarette. - Here Magazine

"Fridays With... Christina Martin- Sept 2010"

Halifax’s Christina Martin is set to release her new album I Can Too next week. The 11-track record is Martin’s third and her second she produced with fiancé Dale Murray (Cuff the Duke).

The album is set to be released on Come Undone Records and distributed across the country by EMI.

For nearly a decade, Martin has been on a musical journey. She recorded her debut album Pretty Things (2002) in Austin, Texas. After returning home to Halifax, she started playing the café/bar circuit and met Murray. On a whim they recorded Two Hearts (2008), an album that won her Pop Recording of the Year at the 2009 East Coast Music Awards, as well as two Nova Scotia Music Awards for Female Artist of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year in 2008.

I Can Too (which, I’ll add, is a killer record) features appearances by Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor and Cuff the Duke’s Wayne Petti.

Martin will celebrate the release a week from today, Friday, Sept. 10, at The Seahorse in Halifax. The show features performances from Patrick Brealey, Acres & Acres, DJ Regalia. The show begins at 9 p.m. with Martin taking the stage at 10 p.m.

Tickets for the show are $14.99 in advance and $20.00 at the door. They are available at all Ticketpro outlets.

There’s a long list of dates across Canada that can be found on Martin’s website.

She joins us this week for a chat …

1. Tell me about the new album. What was the process like, and how did it differ from your previous two records?

Dale and I both came into this recording with more experience in the studio, and we had a better idea of what we wanted this album to sound like. We had been talking about it on countless tours while listening to Tom Petty and other artists we liked. When Dale and I started recording Two Hearts, we really had no idea what would come of it, and we barely knew each other. The process was relatively relaxed this time and smooth. We made a plan (I’m big on planning!!!) and we basically did exactly what we said we were going to do.

I wanted to make an album that had more of a pop/rock edge to some of the main songs like Daisy, Hello and I Can Too. I didn’t want to wash away the serious topics with bells and whistles, so we kept the instrumentation and number of people involved to a minimum. With Two Hearts, we had many more people involved in the overdub process and were heavy on the strings with some songs (which worked out great!). I feel this is a stronger album overall, as much as you hate to compare your past work with current work, I just know that both Dale and I were more confident going into this album, and we believe that comes across sonically. You can never really tell what other people will like, all you can do is make something you are proud of and pour it out to whoever will listen.

2. What was on your mind or ‘inspiring you’ as you were writing for the record?

The songs were not written all at the same time. Some were written many years ago while I was living in Germany (Picture of a Sadman) or Austin (Daisy, They Say). One song was written as we were recording it (Take).

I am typically inspired by things that happen in my life or to someone I know that just draw me to my pen and paper. For this album many of the topics or events that inspired me dealt with some heavy topics… death, anxiety, fear, and/or struggling with mental health, addictions, love, loss. The song I’m Gonna Die has to do with panic attacks, what they feel like and how many people don’t know how to cope with them. This particular song was inspired when a young girl I lived with (she was only 8 years old) repeated “I’m gonna die” while having a melt down over what snack to have before bed. When she said those words I was able to finally identify that she was having panic attacks. I don’t know what took me so long to figure this out with her, since her symptoms were similar to panic attacks I had experienced in my life as an adult. It isn’t often that you hear a child say “I’m gonna die,” at least not in my traveling nanny experiences.

They Say is a song I wrote for my friend JoAnne in Austin after her best friend and husband dropped dead of a heart attack. I attended the wake and learned not only that he was a devoted father and friend, he also collected model trains and tarantula spiders, which I thought was very interesting.

There are individual stories behind every song on the album. It’s no secret that loss and exit events are some of the most important in our lives. We often learn more from devastating life lessons than from love… although being in an enormously loving relationship now I know there are some wonderful things to learn from love. But perhaps I would not appreciate love as much had I not learned what losing big love felt like. I’ve heard from other people that they feel the same way, and I am often inspired to write about their struggles and perseverance. I find it uplifting.

3. The album is days away from being released. How do you feel?

I’m excited to hit the road! I’m tired from sitting at my computer planning and organizing details… I’m ready to play and get back to the work I really love to do. I’m excited for people to hear the album and especially the songs live. There is always a bit of relief when this release time rolls around. There are some really exciting shows on the tour which I can’t wait for. I’m super excited to share the stage with Cuff The Duke for a large portion of the tour dates.

4. Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor appears on this album. How did you guys first meet, and what was Greg like to work with?

I met Greg for the first time in Toronto at a Cuff The Duke Show at The Horseshoe Tavern. He introduced himself backstage (I was too shy to speak to him). We sat and talked for a long time back stage and I learned really quickly that Greg was really easy to talk to. He invited Dale and I to a private show he was performing with Jim Cuddy at The Carleton in Halifax in November 2009.

It was backstage at The Carleton show that Greg was asking me about my new album we were about to record. Greg jumped in when I was telling him about a song and said, “I’ll play on your album,” to which I responded “Greg, what if I suck? You have not even heard me play yet.” He just blew that off and insisted that he would play on the album. It was on his off day in January 2010 that we had Greg come into Dale’s studio in Dartmouth with Wayne Petti (Cuff The Duke) and he graciously played baritone guitar and sang on Subject To Change (written By Andrew Sisk) and both Wayne and Greg sang harmonies on Daisy.

5. You’ve worked with your fiancé Dale Murray on this record and your previous one, Two Hearts. What’s it like working together? Does it provide any challenges?

Dale and I work really well together. In fact, we do everything well together. He is my best friend! We both have certain strengths and weaknesses when it comes to song writing and ideas in the studio.

Dale is a genius at arrangements, playing parts on multiple instruments, and engineering/mixing. I’m best at all the organizational details and the lyrics and melodies, we both know what we like when I hear it… so the combination in the studio seems to work well for us. I don’t really have any complaints or challenges to speak of, other than my own limitations as a musician. I continue to feel lucky to have someone like Dale to work on projects with. He completes me (can you believe I just said that!!??).

6. On your Twitter page a week or two ago, you wrote, “At Tom Petty in Toronto…. Holy shit!!!” First of all, I’m jealous. Secondly, how was the show? When you’re at a concert, do you ever draw inspiration for your own shows?

First of all, I rarely attend concerts. I’m really picky about how I like to spend my time, and if the artist is not one of my absolute favorites, I’d rather be home baking gluten-free bread for Dale.

Second, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers have been a big influence for me over the past few years. Tom is possibly my favorite songwriter. The show was amazing! Crosby, Stills and Nash opened the show if you can believe it. They were great, but I was really there to hear Tom and The Heartbreakers. They put on a great live show and knocked out all the hits… they did it with simple classic rock style! No bells and whistles or pyrotechnics… just guitars, great singing and lyrics… great playing! It was a highlight for me.

So, at a concert like that, it definitely inspires me! I watch everyone (especially Tom) and try to pick up on the subtle details that make a great show! In Tom and The Heartbreakers’ case, it was just their ability to walk on stage and confidently play their hearts out, simply deliver GREAT SONGS and be gracious to your audience. They looked so pro, but it was the great playing and songs that really stood out and make them look and sound great!

7. When did you first get into the music “business” and what was the first major lesson you learned?

The first major lesson I learned was that there was not going to be ANY room for people who were not supportive in my life. ZERO! I learned early on that it’s a long hard road, not always financially rewarding, you can get really down on yourself… so I sort of had to do a cleaning job with people around me. I had to tell my mom on the phone that if I called her upset or frustrated, that the LAST thing I wanted to hear from her was “Well, maybe you should do something other than music.”

8. What song, album or artist have you been listening to most lately?

Tom Petty – Mojo - GOOD ENOUGH

9. You have another cross-country tour planned over the next few months. What’s the road life like for you? Everyone seems to feel a little different about being on the road for an extended period of time.

I love being on the road. Before every tour I try to tie everything up at home so I don’t feel like I’m leaving anything behind. So I usually hit the road with an open mind and heart. I work from the road every day as well, so it feels like I take home on the road with me (because when I’m at home I’m working all the time on administrative stuff). If I’m alone I get a lot of ideas and tend to write quite a bit. If I’m around people, I try to enjoy it because most of my job feels pretty solitary and self-centered. Overall, I feel like I’m always on a working holiday when I’m touring. I really feel lucky to be able to do what I do. I also get to see more friends and family now that I tour, and you make new great friends each time you go out. It’s pretty cool!

10. What else do you have coming up in the coming months?

I have a new video coming out for I Can Too. That should be ready in September sometime. We filmed it in the middle of the night in Montreal and I am wearing nothing but a giant pink rabbit costume.

In the coming months, we have tour dates booked across Canada until November. We are announcing more EASTERN DATES after Sept. 11. These will be co-bills with Cuff The Duke and myself. Other than that, my plans involve playing as many shows as possible and preparing for showcases and a Europe tour in 2011. Planning, planning and more planning… always planning! - East Coast Noise

"Christina Martin-I Can Too-Sept 2010"

Christina Martin

I Can Too

Halifax singer-songwriter Christina Martin has a sound that's part Tom Petty, part Sheryl Crowe mixed with a heavy dose of her own original style.

Her new album I Can Too sees her calling on a few friends to help her out but, while they add to the overall sound, Martin manages to keep the spotlight among some lofty company. Her songs range from slow acoustic ballads to faster rocking numbers with the one constant being whatever she tackles sounds great.

Her husband Dale Murray, from Cuff The Duke, produced and played on the album and she's also joined by Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor on two tracks and Murray's bandmate Wayne Petti on another.

Since her debut in 2002 Martin has shared the stage with some great talents performing with the likes of Cuff The Duke, Matt Mays and Jimmy Rankin and that experience shows through on I Can Too.

If you're a fan of folk rock or alt-country Christina Martin is certainly an artist you don't want to miss out on. She'll be playing at the Capitol Theatre on October 28 so you can pick up this great CD and check out her live show as well.

Highlights include: Daisy, Subject To Change and Lit Cigarette. - Times & Transcript, New Brunswick

"Christina Martin Proves Herself with I Can Too-Sept 2010"

Halifax singer gets personal with her new album

Samantha Durnford, Arts Contributor

Christina Martin is a force to be reckoned with. As the tiny, soft-spoken 31-year-old steps onto the stage at Seahorse Tavern, you aren't prepared for what's about to hit you. She has one hell of a voice.

Martin celebrated her newest album, I Can Too last Friday night at the Seahorse Tavern. This is her third album to be released, and you could tell she was proud by the smile on her face.

The crowd sat around tables lit by candles. As you looked around, everyone's eyes were glued to Martin on stage. It may even be safe to say that people were not even speaking as she began to play her first song, “Daisy.” It was even hard to believe that you were at the Seahorse, as the atmosphere was so intimate. Martin made eye contact with nearly everyone.

She played her acoustic guitar and sang with purpose. Her voice soothed your heart and captured your soul as she guided you into her own. She painted pictures with her words and invited you into her songs as if they were written for you.

She played “Hello”, the first song off her album. This song was so intense and beautifully written that I could feel my heart beat faster as the tempo of the song rises and falls. The words and music dance perfectly together.

Martin sang clearly and forcefully throughout the whole set, stopping to say hi to her mom and thank special people in the crowd who helped her get to where she is now. She told stories that made the crowd laugh and she spoke very highly of her band. Clearly, she is very grateful for everything she has.

She stopped to say, “Hey! Did you guys know I'm engaged!?”. The crowd cheered as she segued into her next song, “Take.”

Each song has lyrics that provide a window into her heart. She puts such strength into each song and you can feel the music hit you. At one point the guy next to me turned to his friend and said, “That was fucking awesome.”

Her all male band provided a great contrast of back-up singing. She sang a very raw song called, “I'm Gonna Die.” This song, she explained, is about panic attacks and was inspired by her ex's little girl who couldn't decide what snack she wanted before bed, simply stating “I'm gonna die.”

Martin said that the girl put the feeling into words better then she ever could and “this song is for her.”

She mixed up her set with old favourites such as “The Bike Song” and “You Come Home”, from her last album Two Hearts. Encouraging the crowd to sing along, they do. You could feel the love and support in the room for her.

Martin ended the show with title track, “I Can Too.” This song has earned the title of the album with its upbeat and empowering words.

The new album has managed to impress. Martin shows evolution with her new songs without straying from her original sound, one that works for her and that her fans seem to love.

After she got off stage, she took time to sign CDs and give extra thank-yous and hugs. I asked her how she felt about the show and she took a deep breath, looked around and said, “I'm very happy. All these people's awesome.” - Dalhousie Gazette, Halifax NS

"Not too hot, Not too cold- September 2010"

Not too hot, not too cool
Posted 8 days ago

Christina Martin was out walking her friend's dog Buster in the south of Halifax. She was in town to practise with the band that backed her when she released her new CD in front of her hometown crowd.

Her third album, I Can Too, features guest performances from Blue Rodeo's Greg Keeler, and Cuff The Duke's Wayne Petty and Dale Murray.

When Martin comes through Canmore she'll be playing in support of Cuff the Duke, and Murray, the band's guitar player, will join Martin as she opens the night.

Murray and Martin recorded her last effort Two Hearts, released in 2008, and formed a musical partnership that became a friendship and, now the two are engaged.

Two Hearts not only scored Martin her man, but also scored her a Pop Recording of the year award at the 2009 East Coast Music Awards, and two Nova Scotia Music Awards for Female Artist of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year in 2008.

Murray and Martin are building a studio together out in the country where the couple lives. Martin's helping him to manage the recording Murray does and is also trying to get her own little record label, Come Undone Records, get some feet under it.

"It works well," she said.

Two Hearts came at a time when Martin said she "was on the brink of not doing music anymore."

"I was at the point where I was like, 'Either I'm going to do this right and educate myself, or I'm going to become . . . a travel agent, or a counselling psychologist, or something."

She did give up the security of a "regular job" and started to learn as much as she could about being a working musician — from learning how to book a tour, to learning about setting goals and treating her daily life as a musician as a job.

"I don't know if I ever tried to 'take myself seriously,'" she said. "I never thought about it like that, I just know that you sit down and go, 'What do I want to do this month and the next month and the month after and what do I need to do to get there?'

"And every single day, I am always up thinking 'What do I need to do today?'

"Because if I don't, I'm going to get behind and I might not be able to keep doing this. I don't know, it's more of a panic that I won't be able to keep doing this. And I love my life right now, I love my job and I'm very protective and territorial of it."

She moved to Austin, Texas to become a nanny. And she bought a guitar, but moved to Germany to be a nanny there.

Music seemed to follow her. She met some producers overseas who convinced her to sing more.

"It's this weird thing where you try to avoid something and it shoves itself in your face," she said.

In 2002, Martin returned to Austin, where she recorded her debut and wound up opening for alt-country legends Wilco, but she still wasn't sure about her path.

"I was 22 at the time and I really thought I was too old — as crazy as that sounds — I didn't think I was good enough: I taught myself to play guitar when I was 20 years old. I just didn't believe in myself.

"It's a scary thing to do."

She got married in Austin and returned to Canada where she tried to balance the life she had with work and returning to school. It was too much for Martin.

"I could never get ahead in any one of the things I was trying to do," she said. "I was tired and depressed and miserable and eventually some more wonderful things happened."

That was when she met Murray.

"He sat me down and said, 'Look, don't worry about all the money stuff, you've got to give it a shot.' "

"I call it a job and it is, it's my life."

She said that she has tried to do other things but finds herself being pushed into making music.

"I don't think that it's because I'm 'the best at what I do' or anything, it's just what I have to do to stay sane and healthy."

Martin has stopped drinking and doesn't keep people in her life who drag her down, she eats healthy and does what she can to stay ahead.

"If I don't I will just crash and burn," Martin said. She has a line of merchandise that raises money for the Canadian Mental Health Association. And she does have a family history of addictions and mental health issues.

"All my siblings in father's family have all had a little bit different situations, but it's quite clear that drugs and alcohol just don't mix for us, I sure wish they did, but they don't.

"My father has had great times in his life — I have as well — and then in the matter of a week or so everything came crashing down.

"Life is fragile and every day I'm kind of conscious of that and I don't want to lose what's been built or the good things that are going on."

Her songwriting reflects her balanced view on life: and she writes from both sides.

"I don't want to send too depressing a message out there," she said. "We just have to live with both and living with both — I think that's a challenge sometimes, but if you don't think about it, how are you going to deal with it."

Martin's doing two months across Canada from the West to the East, returning to her home coast Oct. 30.

Martin plays Communitea Café with Cuff the Duke Thursday, Sept. 23. - The Canmore Leader, Canmore AB

"Runaway princess Christina Martin steers by her own stars through the pop universe-Sept 2010"

Mary Christa O’Keefe /

With her sexy girl-next-door beauty, vivacious personality, brightly sparkling voice and unerring love of hooky choruses and peppy rhythms, Christina Martin should've easily slid into the cool waters of modern pop—if only pop hadn't become a pimp for our shallowest tastes and sentiments, and if she could only shake her stubborn streak, her gut-level unease at being under anyone's thumb, even when her head and all the well-meaning people around her are telling her she's passing on a great opportunity.

The pugnacious title track on her third album, I Can Too, (and the giveaway pugilist on the cover) references this tension, even though the record is eminently relatable and listenable, and would've found a ready home on AM radio anytime from the '70s to '90s.

"That song comes from a personal place, an angry place, but a lot of people feel the same way in their lives," Martin offers. "It sucks to be told: 'You can't do this', and 'this isn't going to happen,' and 'this won't work' and 'you can't because I'm in a more powerful position than you are', and the world around you is just going to shit and you're being told that you can't make it better." Her words tumble out, a whirlwind litany of all the "No" she's ever heard. "It could be in a relationship, it could be in a workplace or whatever, but without getting too specific, it was very much about someone trying to find out if they can do what they want to do, and not just listen to the voices in their head or of people who they love telling them they can't do that. "

Martin's sudden pronoun shifts reflect her intuitive awareness of the universality of good pop, and although she's given to telling intensely personal anecdotes about the origins of each song—she also peppers her live show with these stories, and they're far more rollicking and heart-wrenching and wry as she tells them than reprinting them would suggest—she tends to turn them outwards as she explores their meanings and themes, offering them to those who need them most.

Her previous album, 2008's Two Hearts, was largely about the contours of romantic relationships as she was in the death throes of one, but now that Martin has settled down with fiancé Dale Murray (Cuff the Duke; also Martin's producer and fellow musician) her songs roam more freely across the plains of experience.

"Oh, the themes," she laughs. "Death, loss, more mental health issues, like anxiety. One of the reasons we wanted the classic rock-pop vibe was that the topics were so serious. But once Dale puts his guitars on, it's a magical thing. We're both huge Tom Petty fans; he's a great writer. Their band motto is 'Don't bore us, get to the chorus'—without being cheesy. I like songs with a hook, with melodies, that have a clear line. People are drawn to that, and then we can talk about all these things that happen to us that are just so hard." V

Sat, Sep 25 (8 pm)
Christina Martin
With Cuff the Duke
Pawn Shop, $15 - Vue Weekly/Edmonton AB

"Christina Martin * PulseNiagara"

More than just a pretty face, ,Halifax resident Christina Martin is a grand example of hopeful and sincere songwriting. She has the ability to make one feel welcomed by her soft and gently-tweaked blend of folk/rock. Her influences range along the lines of Wilco and Annie Lennox, and I's say she's one to look out for if you're into acts like Sarah Harmer or the more mellow side of Julie Doiron. This show in Niagara Falls is part of her Eastern Canada tour in support of her recently released album Two Hearts which was put out on Come Undone Records. - Pulse Niagara

"A New Chapter For Christina Martin"

June 19, 2008

While there are some aspects of her recent life that Christina Martin would like to forget, she concedes they helped bring her back to playing music after a nearly six-year gap between her debut album and her latest effort, Two Hearts.

At the start of this decade, the Halifax native had her sights set on Austin, Texas, where her gritty, alt-country style put her in contact with major players like Wilco. Yet she was forced to take some unexpected detours along the way, and Two Hearts is in part a reflection of how she has matured, both as an artist and as a person.

"I guess life just happened," Martin says while behind the wheel en route to a tour stop in Ottawa. "I didn't really know much back then about what putting out an album entailed beyond recording it and selling it at shows. I was working other jobs, then I got married and moved back to Canada, and went back to school. I don't know if I was avoiding music, but I look back now and realize that I just didn't have the confidence to do it."

That began to change as Martin slowly gravitated back to the Halifax singer/songwriter scene. She found a key supporter in Dale Murray, the multi-instrumentalist/producer known for his work with Matt Mays and Cuff The Duke, who offered to produce some demos, which ultimately led to the creation of Two Hearts.

"I was playing a show one night and Matt came out and afterward asked me to sing on one of his demos the next day that he was working on with Dale," she says. "That turned into an all-night jam session, which made me believe that there were still people out there who understood what I wanted to do."

Martin adds: "It all really happened at the right time. My marriage was over, and I had just left a job that was killing me, so all of a sudden I had the desire to record and play shows again. I just decided that if I put all my energy into doing music, why couldn't I make it work for me in some way?"

Musically, Two Hearts expands upon the traditional folk foundation that Martin still relies on, incorporating hints of psychedelia and chamber-pop, something she admits she tried with a little hesitation.

"There were a few little steps forward on this album, mostly rhythmically in trying to make songs sound more upbeat even though the messages may not have been. There's still a part of my approach that's rooted in my time in Austin, but this new album is really about Halifax and the experiences I've had since I've come back."

However, Martin is now ready to open another new chapter in her life, that of a full-time touring musician. She is dedicating at least the next year to being on the road and is overjoyed about the prospects.

"This is really my first tour and I've become immediately addicted," she says.

"I can get up in the morning, go for a run and get my thoughts together before we go to the next city. It's easy to find food I like, and it's great to meet new people and hear their stories. It's just really nice, and it's already made me excited to do another record."


"Christina MArtin Shares Two Hearts with Dale Murray"

Tuesday June 03, 2008 @ 06:00 PM
By: Staff

Halifax's Christina Martin believes in the power of two. Her sophomore release, Two Hearts, explores the divide between love and loss.

"It's two forces in a relationship," says Martin. "It's two souls connecting.

"It's a sad but hopeful record. The common thread is struggling through relationships, the uncertainty of them, but at the end of the day still feeling like there are two people working towards something."

Martin draws on such universal themes as longing, desire and the notion of home. She spent a few years living in Austin, Texas, but recently return home to the Maritimes. The album's title track is a sombre yet hopeful insight into the divided artist.

Two Hearts was produced and recorded by Dale Murray (The Guthries, Cuff The Duke), and his apt ear and solid guitar playing shine through on the majority of the tracks, including "You Come Home," "Cut It Out" and "Love Letters."

"I'm pretty new at producing and engineering albums," says Murray. "I have only really done one album for someone else before Christina's.

"That album was by Adam Puddington, who I've played with for years, so when Christina asked me to help her out with the album, it was the first time I worked with someone that I didn't really know. Somehow it went from helping out to producing, engineering, playing and mixing the album. I ended up saying 'yes' to doing the album for a couple of reasons. One was because I like Christina's songs, and I was confidant that I could do a good job on it, and secondly I really wanted to get into production and she was giving me a chance to show that I could do it. I think it worked out well for the both of us."

—Shannon Webb-Campbell - ChartAttack

"Christina Martin- Hearts and Solo- Aug 2008"

Listening to Two Hearts, the sophomore record released in late spring by Halifax-based songwriter Christina Martin, there is really only one pressing question: was there a happy ending?

“Well, he’s thrusting himself in my face right now, trying to distract me,” she laughs. “So I guess it turned out alright—so far.”

That dangling caveat underscores Two Hearts, a confessional, lovelorn valentine to emotional endurance, textured under the tasteful ears of East Coast musician/producer Dale Murray and whipped into an achy lather by Martin’s smoky, bruised-ingénue vocals. Martin’s songwriting eschews the quirky to travel the main highway of country-flavoured pop from an era before it hardened under the candy coating of overproduction and over-processed fake-virginal starlets. Two Hearts seemingly maps out a grown-up romance, one on the verge of collapse despite tenderness and the best of intentions, struggling to right itself. Murray and Martin nestle these fragile joys and fears in deft instrumentation that ebbs and swells with sonic elements like jangly guitar, twangy banjo, supple lap steel, soulful organ and even strings and horns.

“Not all the songs are about the same relationship,” Martin adds. “But they are all about loss and exit events that happened with me or in my family, that type of thing. I wanted the album to have a common thread—the songs have a similar vibe and emotion, but not the same sound. It’s easier for people to enjoy the melancholy rollercoaster, ride ups and downs if it sounds like it belongs together.”

Her songs also share a similar lyrical pitch. Martin is both bare and plainspoken—like water pouring into a dry canyon after heavy rain, she plunges down the most straightforward course through what she wants to communicate. There’s no fancy wordplay, few metaphors or elaborate scenarios, just clear-eyed expressions of feeling and need.

“I pretty much stick with a simple melody and simple lyrics,” she explains. ”The strongest songs are often really simple. I start with something I want to say and go right to, ‘How can I sum this up?’ Sometimes I have hidden messages, but it’s not usually a mystery—this is how I feel; this is what I want to say. When I can’t find the right words or if I feel it will sound cheesy or bad, I’m less direct, but I think simplicity has a lot of impact. And words that impact me today may have an impact on someone else tomorrow.”

These barest aspects of her songs are in the spotlight at solo shows, but Martin points out going it alone creates an intimacy with audiences she relishes.
“I think it’s a craft to tell a story and get people to share something in return,” Martin says. “I go off a lot, sometimes talk about the song or throw out these general topics and ask if anyone’s been affected by the same things. It kind of turns it into a big relating experience.” V

- Vue Weekly- Edmonton, AB

"Music 'A Sense of Meaning'- May 2008"

Haligonian artist speaks to her musical inspiration


There's a reason why there are so many self-help books out there for the lovelorn, said Christina Martin.
“Relationships are tough,” said the musician, who sings about the difficulties associated with being in love on her song Temporary Hell. It is about those times in your life where you aren’t quite sure what is going on.
“Maybe it was a day where I couldn’t see what tomorrow was going to bring, and I was just frustrated,” said Martin about why she penned it. “Sometimes we have a tendency to blame stuff that is happening on other people, or our partners, or our teammates.
“When I listen to the song, well it is what I wanted to say — and that is how I want it to sound to other people,” she added. “With that song, even when I am singing it, there are parts where I feel a little ticked-off at times.”
Temporary Hell is one of nine songs Martin has included on her sophomore album, Two Hearts. The vocally strong album — a follow-up to her 2002 debut Pretty Things — merges country and folk in a series of songs about love and longing.
“I write a lot about relationships, and I have a keen interest in them. I think it is human nature,” said Martin, who is officially kicking off an album tour next week.
While her tour will mostly be a solo affair, her CD release show at FRED will feature her performing with a band — Jason Voutour, Kinley Dowling, Glen Nicholson, Tim Kohoot and Rose Cousins — and a small choir.
“I don’t think I have ever been so pleased with a compilation of my songs,” said Martin about the release, which was produced by Dale Murray (The Guthries, Hayden).
She said working with Murray was a wonderful experience. He helped to work out the song arrangements, and made sure the album came together sonically.
“For me, songwriting is a form of creation and sorting things out,” said Martin. “It gives me a sense of meaning.”


"New CDs spring up everywhere - May 2008"

New CDs spring up everywhere
Now Hear This Stephen Cooke
SPRING MUST finally be here for
real; the air is filled with the sounds
of musicians releasing new CDs. Two
who have their launches this week do
very different things with similar
roots, with folk, pop and rock
colliding in fresh ways on discs by
Halifax's Christina Martin and Fall
River band Gloryhound and the
Martin has already been playing
songs from her second CD Two
Hearts on a unique tour of Halifaxarea
libraries, but gives the record its
official debut on Friday evening, 7
p.m. at FRED Salon and Cafe at the
corner of North and Agricola, with
special guest Share.
After making her first CD Pretty
Things during an extended stay in
Austin, Texas, Martin returned home
to Nova Scotia; partly because of the
heat and partly because of the tightlyknit
musical community that includes
guitarist Dale Murray (Cuff the Duke,
the Guthries) who produced Two
Hearts, largely in his basement.
"I was way more comfortable working
with everybody involved on this
record, everything just flowed so
well," says Martin, feeling a bit lost
in the comfy oversize chairs at Cabin
"It was easy, it was fun . . . I mean,
I'm really grateful to the people who
worked on Pretty Things, my producer
did a fantastic job, but I didn't really
have a whole lot to say about what
was going on at the time.
"I think Two Hearts gels a lot better, I
feel like there's a common thread
throughout the record, everything ties
together nicely, and I think I knew
what I wanted. And when I didn't,
Dale was really good at helping me
figure that out."
Murray and a cast of players like In-
Flight Safety's Dan Ledwell and
singer Rose Cousins enabled Martin
to blur the line between roots and
pop, resulting in a warm, affecting
sound. The animated singer also
credits Murray with "pulling a lot out
of the songs," taking them to a level
beyond their acoustic origins.
"There's a lot of emotion behind the
lyrics, they're about intimate things
and sad things," she explains, "and
I'm not always the best at . . . well, I
like to perform solo, just me and my
guitar, and when it comes to making
an album and getting certain emotions
across, I don't think I'm as good at
knowing how to arrange everything.
"But Dale did a great job, I think it
worked out really well. Did it make
you cry?"
Martin grins, and I have to admit that
she has a knack for writing
emotionally direct songs that have a
way of dredging up old memories.
The lyrics are mined from past
relationships, including a marriage
that ultimately ended amicably, but
she knows how to turn those personal
experiences into common ground for
the listener.
"I've learned how to fight for what's
important in a relationship, and I've
learned that it's worth it. And I've
learned how to be more open to the
other person.
"You have to sit down and figure out,
"Are we working towards the same
thing? Are our hearts beating together
for the same thing?' I know that
sounds ultra cheesy, but it's true. You
don't have to both be the exact same
person, but you have to connect on
certain levels."

~ Stephen Cooke - The Chronicle-Herald- Halifax

"Heart Songs- May 2008"

Christina Martin gets serious and faces her fears with her new release, Two Hearts

Dichotomy, duality, twofold---there is something about the power of two. Christina Martin has tapped into this division on her sophomore album, Two Hearts. She celebrates the release on May 30 at FRED.

"The title track 'Two Hearts' is specifically about having faith on a confusing journey to find that type of love that makes you feel like you are following a path with heart," says Martin, over coffee at a North Street cafe and roaster. 

"When times get tough, because they will, it's beneficial to have faith in something beyond yourself. For me that means sometimes having faith in other people when I don't have it in myself."

When Martin was a little girl she dreamed of being a lot of things, but a songwriter was never one of them. She explored the woods, played sports, daydreamed of rock stars, wandered through the neighbours' yards, created blueprints for a backyard cabin that never materialized. At 28 years old, the Fredericton native never thought those piano lessons she hated as a kid would eventually pay off.

"I was more interested in learning rock 'n' roll songs than classical tunes," she says. "And I refused the material that my instructor gave me. After kicking out the wooden sound board at the base of my upright piano in defiance of refusing to practice, I won a battle with my parents to quit piano and spent more time at the pony club."

Instead of bucking her Gemini nature, she decided to embrace it. But this time around she did things her way---she ditched the keys---and explored her creativity on acoustic guitar and vocals. Produced by Dale Murray (Cuff the Duke, The Guthries) and co-engineered with Charles Austin, Martin relied on some of Halifax's finest musicians to create the heart-warming Two Hearts.

Guest appearances include Danny Ledwell on keyboards, synthesizer, glockenspiel and trumpet; Rose Cousins on backing vocals; Jason Vautour on bass; Kinley Dowling on violin and viola; Andrew Sisk on backing vocals; Adam Baldwin on acoustic guitar and Hammond organ; and Brian Murray on drums and banjo.

Two Hearts is somewhat of a homecoming record for Martin, as she fled the historic port town in 1999 for Austin, Texas. She quickly became a regular in the bar scene, performing alongside such acts as Wilco, singing backup for Young Heart Attack and working on her own material. She lived in Germany briefly only to return to Austin.

While living stateside, she released her debut album Pretty Things in October 2002. Shortly after that she returned to the east coast and put her music career on the

"Recently, I've faced my fear of becoming a career musician," she says. "It has been scary but there have been many seemingly small yet epic moments where I've gotten support. Dale Murray poured his heart into the new record, which I am grateful for.

"This year was it for me. The point came where I knew I had to make the transition to becoming a career musician---I had to start asking for help, and I had to turn down the idea of doing anything else if this was anything that was going to take off. I still don't know what's going to happen past the plans I have written down on paper and the new album I have in my hands."

A combination of patience and perseverance should see the bright-eyed songstress through, not to mention the solid collection of heartfelt, timeless songs. In honour of her upcoming tour throughout New Brunswick and Ontario, she's been playing a few gigs around at local libraries, including Alderney and Spring Garden Public Library.

On her own bedside nightstand rests What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business, by Peter M. Thall and Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon---and Journey of a Generation by Shelia Weller, as Martin believes travel is what pushes her pen to the page.

"Without a doubt, travelling gets my creative juices flowing," Martin says. "Perhaps because there is no place for me to run errands when I'm sitting in a car, on plane
or train, and then I'm taking in so much
new information. It's like re-fuelling with new experiences."

Christina Martin w/Share, Friday, May 30 at FRED, 2606 Agricola, 7pm, $10 adv./$12.

~Shannon Webb-Campbell - The Coast- Halifax, NS

"Christina Martin Two Hearts Come Undone- May 2008"

They always say that you should open up strong and
go out
stronger---well, somebody probably said that---and
that's the approach
that Christina Martin takes on Two Hearts, the
follow up to her 2002
debut, Pretty Things.

The title track sets the album in motion, opening
with a slow, shuffling
acoustic guitar accompanied by the quiet tap of a
cymbal. Martin
immediately sets the tone singing, "Where do we go
from here / I just
don't know, my dear / How do we get to this? / It
ain't the tears I miss."
Broken hearts are at the centre of so much music
that it can be
difficult to come up with a new way of addressing
the topics of love and
love gone wrong, but Martin stakes her ground on
"Two Hearts." A steady
kick drum soon joins in, acting as a bridge into the
next verse, with a
mournful viola crying out long, sustained notes in
the background.

The song's chorus finds Martin turning around and
finding hope in the
prospect of trying again: "This kiss is long and
hard / I do not know
what I'm doing / I still believe in two hearts /
Beating for something,"
and later, a relaxed banjo plucks along, giving the
tune an extra lift
as it heads to a close.

The second track, "Temporary Hell," is similarly
nuanced, with a
slightly grinning acoustic guitar strumming steadily
over piano, and
then the warbling arpeggios of an electric guitar... then Martin nears the end of the album. "Hard
Day in June" is first,
and it's the kind of country that is both heartfelt
modern---something that the majority of new country
music rarely ever
manages to pull off. Here, Martin is at her best,
accompanied only by
herself on the acoustic guitar and Dale Murray on
dobro and harmony
vocal as she sings sadly, "It's a hard day in June /
Why do I have to be
the one to tell the truth / We can't keep going at
this pace." It's a
brief, but perfect, reprieve from the album's
plodding middle.

Likewise, the closing "China Box" sees Martin and
her band returning to
the sonic approach of the title track, using the
instruments to wring
every last drop of emotion from the song. There are
creative flourishes
throughout---a trumpet and some rattling
percussion---but most of all,
Martin's writing is strong here, closing the album
on a high note and
leaving one intrigued enough to wonder where she
will go from here. - Vue Weekly- Edmonton, AB

"Spin Spin Sugar Review 2003"

There are voices and then there are "voices"-voices that take you on majestic journeys through hidden landscapes in your mind. Christina Martin has one of these voices. Each word sounds like the sweet crack of dawn opening up a new day of possibilities. Martin's debut release, Pretty Things, showcases not only that amazing voice, but her skill and ease at song writing as well.
Martin is originally from the East Coast of Canada, but moved to Austin, Texas, three years ago to further her musical endeavors. While in Austin, she recorded Pretty Things with the help of producer Darwin Smith and some splendid Austin musicians. The product is a stunning debut. Martin delivers her songs with country tones, pop sensibilities and folk outlooks. She has been compared to Shawn Colvin and Emmylou Harris, yet exhibits a unique artistry that foregoes all comparison. Pretty Things is a bright day in itself and exhibits the possibilities of things to come from Christina Martin. This is a CD worth picking up-it's a ‘pretty thing’ you should hold onto.

By Lindsay Dobbin - Dalhousie Gazette

"Two Hearts- Exclaim- Aug 2008"

Christina Martin
Two Hearts
By Amanda Ash

Like Jenn Grant and Jill Barber, Christina Martin is an East coast gem. Her modern approach to the folky singer-songwriter tradition is both sweet and sophisticated, carrying her love for music throughout her lacy vocals and swelling melodies. On her sophomore release, Two Hearts, Martin explores the theme of hopeful longing. Each of her nine songs develops its own personality. “Temporary Hell” is shy but stunning, while “You Come Home” is a mellow stargazer and “Hard Day In June” is a reserved dreamer. Christina Martin bares all on Two Hearts, thanks to her natural storytelling abilities and innocent heart. Fans of Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch will soon find Two Hearts getting as much airtime as the classics. (Independent)



Pretty Things- 12 Songs - October 2002
Two Hearts- 9 Songs- May 2008
I Can Too- 11 Songs- Sept 2010
A House Concert- 14 Songs- August 2011
New Release Coming 2012

Check out for more information and to hear music.



• Christina Martin is a self-managed artist. She has released four independent albums on her label Come Undone Records.
• Festival showcasing: Stan Rogers Folk Festival (Canso, NS 2009), North American Folk Alliance (Memphis, TN 2009), Canada Music Week (Toronto, ON 2009/2010/2011), Atlantic Film Festival (Halifax, NS 2008/2009/2011), Vancouver Winter Olympics (Vancouver, BC 2010), 2011 Canada Winter Games, Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival (Belfast Ireland 2010), Trout Forest Music Festival (Ear Falls, ON Aug 2010), Parliament Hill Canada Day Televised Broadcast (Ottawa, ON July 1, 2010).
• Opened for Wilco, Cuff The Duke, Josh Ritter, Matt Mays, Joel Plaskett, Jimmy Rankin, Stephen Fearing and more.
• Winner- 2009 Pop Record of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards (For Two Hearts).
• Winner- 2008 Pop/Rock album of the Year and Female Artist Recording of the Year at Nova Scotia Music Awards

For nearly a decade Christina Martin has been on a musical journey. From recording her debut album Pretty Things (2002) in Austin, Texas, to opening for Wilco, it was clear that music was her path. It was not long after she returned home to Halifax, Nova Scotia she started playing the café/bar circuit and met esteemed musician Dale Murray (Cuff the Duke). On a whim they recorded Two Hearts (2008), an album that won her Pop Recording of the Year at the 2009 East Coast Music Awards, as well as two Nova Scotia Music Awards for Female Artist of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year in 2008.

Martin and Murray teamed up in 2010 to produce I Can Too which features guest appearances by Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor. With her ethereal voice, tracks like “I Fear I Am,” conjures up classic rock jangles and the rhythmic sway of Roy Orbison. “Daisy,” draws on Tom Petty’s nostalgic narrative-driven approach to the craft, while Murray’s lap steel on “Hello,” echoes the melodic slide- guitar playing of George Harrison. But its title track, “I Can Too,” that is the album’s pinnacle. This song opens with Martin almost whispering her hearts confessions, while Murray’s instrumentation slowly builds layers among Martin’s soaring vocals. The song embodies the sentiment of the record; its bold, rhythmic, vulnerable and inspirational.

Since the release of Two Hearts (2008), Martin has toured extensively, making the long trek across Canada and throughout the United States, as well as crossing the Atlantic touring in Ireland, Germany and Netherlands. Her songs have made their way into films, including Sex Traffic (2004) and The Best Years (2009). She is currently the Artist in Residence in Halifax, NS for Geriatric Medical Research at Dalhousie University, writing songs about Alzheimer's and those affected by the disease. Martin most recently released a live acoustic album called A House Concert (September2011) and she is recording her fifth album for release in Spring 2012.

For more information and tour dates visit