Daphne Lee Martin
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Daphne Lee Martin

New London, Connecticut, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | INDIE

New London, Connecticut, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Pop Folk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Mar
01
Daphne Lee Martin @ Hambone's

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Feb
27
Daphne Lee Martin @ Lettersong Calligraphy Studio/Gallery

KY

KY

Feb
24
Daphne Lee Martin @ Neutral Ground Coffeehouse

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, LA

Feb
20
Daphne Lee Martin @ Fox's Lair

Augusta, GA

Augusta, GA

Feb
19
Daphne Lee Martin @ Waller's Coffee Shop

Decatur, GA

Decatur, GA

Feb
16
Daphne Lee Martin @ Queen of Sheba Ethiopian

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

Feb
15
Daphne Lee Martin @ The Chubby Pickle

Highlands, NJ

Highlands, NJ

Feb
14
Daphne Lee Martin @ The Knickerbocker Cafe

Westerly, RI

Westerly, RI

Feb
13
Daphne Lee Martin @ Bee & Thistle Inn

Old Lyme, CT

Old Lyme, CT

Feb
09
Daphne Lee Martin @ The Vanilla Bean Cafe

Pomfret, CT

Pomfret, CT

Sep
28
Daphne Lee Martin @ The Knickerbocker Cafe

Westerly, RI

Westerly, RI

May
26
Daphne Lee Martin @ Oasis Pub

New London, CT

New London, CT

May
25
Daphne Lee Martin @ World Cafe Live at The Queen

Wilmington, DE

Wilmington, DE

May
24
Daphne Lee Martin @ The New Vintage

Louisville, KY

Louisville, KY

May
23
Daphne Lee Martin @ Empty Glass

Charleston, WV

Charleston, WV

May
22
Daphne Lee Martin @ Preservation Pub

Knoxville, TN

Knoxville, TN

May
21
Daphne Lee Martin @ The Post East

Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN

May
20
Daphne Lee Martin @ The Country

Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN

May
19
Daphne Lee Martin @ Yellowhammer Brewing

Huntsville, AL

Huntsville, AL

May
18
Daphne Lee Martin @ Balcony Music Club

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, LA

May
17
Daphne Lee Martin @ Lulu's On Main Street

Bay Saint Louis, MS

Bay Saint Louis, MS

May
15
Daphne Lee Martin @ Rain Dogs

Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, FL

May
14
Daphne Lee Martin @ Atlantic Nightspot

Gainesville, FL

Gainesville, FL

May
13
Daphne Lee Martin @ Rockin Hard Saloon

Murrells Inlet, SC

Murrells Inlet, SC

May
12
Daphne Lee Martin @ Altamont Brewing Co

Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC

Music

Press


Singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin, an Ohio native who now makes her home in Connecticut, returns this fall with her fourth full-length album, Fall On Your Sword, out October 2. Martin is an elusive songwriter, and her songs slink their way through the worlds of pop, R&B and avant-garde, often with edifying results. Listen below to “Eskimo Bro,” one of the standout tracks from the new album that features Becky Kessler of Violent Mae on guitar. - American Songwriter


The first few tracks of Fall On Your Sword are a bit startling in their scope, but the album quickly comes into focus. There are so many musical influences working together, it doesn’t seem probable that they could form one harmonious whole, and yet they do. Jazz, pop, hip-hop and even opera manage to function together in Martin’s fourth full-length album. Almost all artists pull inspiration from a variety of sources, but Fall On Your Sword deserves praise for using those sources in unexpected and colorful ways.

“Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Head” (which you can hear on the site here) sets the tone early on for this unusual fusion of sounds that continues throughout the album. Fall On Your Sword features numerous additions by other musical talent, and especially noteworthy is “Love Is A Rebellious Bird” with its accompanying raspy vocals and smooth melody. Martin’s numerous references to religion and myth add an interesting layer of context to the medley of sounds. “I’d Take A Bullet For You” outlines the lives of outlaws Bonnie and Clyde in brass and hazy keyboard. If Florence and the Machine began to work a lot of fast jazz into their music, it might sound a bit like Fall On Your Sword. It’s a refreshingly original album that never falters into patterns of repetition or cliché; rather, Martin has crafted a discography that is uniquely her own. - Elmore Magazine


There’s a lot of genre-mixing going on these days, but it seems like Daphne Lee Martin went to the genre buffet and filled her plate with some of everything when she made Fall on Your Sword. There’s no way to easily define it or hyphenate its name: it combines jazz, folk, hip-hop, Latin, and more. There’s fiddle, Latin guitar, samples of speeches, rapping – there’s a lot going on here. Then there’s the mix of subject matter: bees feature prominently, there’s Biblical references, literary references, spoken word portions, legends, partial prayers, and cautionary tales. Fall on Your Sword is the fourth full-length album from Martin, but it is the first one she has produced herself.

On first listen, the songs seem like they’re all over the place because of the genre-mixing. The album opens with “Eskimo Bro.” It’s pretty jazzy, but then has guitar from Violent Mae’s Becky Kessler. The second track, “Bees Make Honey in the Lion’s Head” features rapper SuaveSki. The album is more of a tossed salad than a melting pot, with the genres standing apart instead of melting gently into one unified genre of its own. Within a couple of tracks, it becomes easier to wrap one’s head around with Martin’s smooth, jazzy vocals as the unifying element to every song. On subsequent listens, the different genres didn’t seem to clash anymore. The mixing is definitely innovative, you don’t hear it from many artists. Still, one first listen, you will probably question why the guitar showed up violently on a jazz song.

The subject matter is as varied as the musical genres. “Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Head” tells the Biblical story of Samson and Delilah, with SuaveSki rapping from the perspective of Samson (after he’s had his terrible haircut.) “Love Is a Rebellious Bird” picks up the religious influences again, including part of a bedtime prayer, but also mentions being stuck between the eagle and the snake, which may be from a Native American legend. “Laughing Place” borrows a lot from Uncle Remus’ Br’er Rabbit, the title being his name for the cavern of bees he leads his captors into, and the chorus has Martin asking not to be thrown into the briar patch – using his wit to get out of a thorny situation. Speaking of bees, “Saint Ambrose Kills His Darlings” has references to becoming a queen (bee) and advises that wise bees make more honey than they need. Plus apparently Saint Ambrose had a swarm of bees land on his face when he was a baby and leave a drop of honey. Martin has her bee references down. Then there’s the shanty-like “A Maturity of Proof,” which includes many ways to perform a public execution (if drowning doesn’t work, there’s hanging or burning at the stake,) all over the sounds of a boat rocking in a storm. The lyrics and references are clever, and there are more to be discovered and understood on every listen. Martin takes cues from pop culture, too, as “Eskimo Bro” is actually about all of her ex-boyfriends gathering at her funeral to bury her. In case you weren’t aware, Eskimo brothers is a term for men who have had sex with the same female. Bit of a change from all of the Bible references, eh?

While all of the different genres coming together can be a little rough to wrap your brain around on that first listen, it will get better. Keep at it and you’ll be rewarded with some really smart stuff that you’ll appreciate more with repeated spins. - Surviving the Golden Age


Making music is a labor of love. Maybe you secretly pick a little guitar on the porch with your hound. No one else knows. At the other end of the spectrum, you could be one of those stars who board a private jet while a road crew with 12 semis traverses the highways to make sure you’re set up for the Royal Albert Hall gig.
In between? There are thousands of musicians out there with various goals. The point? There’s no right or wrong way to pursue this labor of love.
New London singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin falls into that category of artists whose dreams are to take their creations to the next level and make a living — hopefully with a national or even global following.
To that end, Martin’s fourth album, “Fall On Your Sword,” is out today from hometown Telegraph Records, and in support she leaves on her biggest-yet tour that takes her to dozens of cities across the U.S. and lasts until the end of the year.
“Fall On Your Sword” is an ambitious, panoramic and flowing record — almost a song-cycle of dark cabaret, though it’s dangerous to so quickly characterize the record. It’s a work that begs to be listened to in old-school, start-to-finish fashion, and the album contains fluid elements of tangy pop, 3 a.m. jazz, tropical horns, bubbling rap (which is not the same as the spoken word bits), Deep South gospel, “Wind and Wuthering” ambience — and poetic narrative lyricism lilting along on the breeze of Martin’s bedroom melodies. Already, publications such as American Songwriter, GIG Soup and Elmore Magazine have been effusive in their praise of the project.
Central to all of this is that “Fall On Your Sword” is Martin’s first attempt at production, and despite the album’s complexities, it never sounds like an exercise in “everything and the kitchen sink.” Indeed, Martin’s direction simply takes advantage of the tunes’ potential and, as such, she utilized almost two-dozen familiar musicians including SuaveSki, Violent Mae’s Rebecca Kessler, Sue Menhart, Danny Motta, Matt Covey, Graham Thompson, David Dorfman, Gary Buttery, Brad Bensko, longtime keyboardist Isaac Young and others. - The Day


Feels
Futility and frustration are a big theme on this album. Not the kind where you just give up on everything. The kind where you know that the ripples you create here and now may not be felt or make the world any better within your own lifetime. The kind of knowing that you need to realize that you’ll get maybe 10% back on what you put into many things. But not the kind where you can simply say “fuck it”. Not to be too Dorothy Parker about life, but it really is what you expect it to be, in the end. If you decide to create troubles, drama, scenes, you will live in hell long before you die. And we all, artists and students and factory workers and dentists and philosophers and menwomenchildren and folks going through grief of any kind or transition of any kind, all feel it sometimes. The human condition. How we handle ourselves when the heat comes up is entirely on us and it shows our true character. - Performer Magazine


Genre-bending is practically run of the mill these days, but have you ever heard an artist claim to run the gamut from “elements of hot jazz, indie folk, latin, opera, hip-hop, and cinematic pop”? Meet Daphne Lee Martin, the woman behind this ambitious catalogue of influences.

On her single “Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Head,” she sets out to show off her chops as a truly versatile lyricist and vocalist, even incorporating a rap verse by artist SuaveSki. Her sultry vocals blend jazz and soul, but the music is inflected with a funky, percussive groove.

The video juxtaposes shots of Martin performing with idyllic shots of nature and surreal glimpses of black and white film. Lyrically, the song stays true to the commitment of her latest effort to tackle the idea of storytelling in all of its facets: “fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.” She picks her title from a biblical tale, and weaves gospel elements throughout.

Her latest album, Fall On Your Sword, will be out on October 2nd. Catch her in New York City when she hits the CMJ Music Marathon in mid-October, or throughout the rest of the country on her fall tour. - Elmore Magazine


Fall On Your Sword is Daphne Lee Martin’s fourth full-length album, and the first to be produced by the songwriter herself. This collection of songs was written as a whole, threaded together with “stories we heard as children” encompassing memories of fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.

Where this album’s forebears Moxie, the “hooker with a heart of gold” and sister album Frost, the “sweetheart” were all variations on a woman’s approach to love and lust, Fall On Your Sword cuts into the meat of who we truly are on our very own. It is a journey into the dark places of our own personalities and desires, our limitations and fears, and inherent flaws. It demands that we confess, accept, and grow beyond those limitations.

Fall On Your Sword was recorded with 25 of the finest musicians Daphne has met on her extensive U.S. tours. It is the most lush and expansive production in her catalog, with elements of hot jazz, indie folk, latin, opera, hip-hop, and cinematic pop. It sees release via Telegraph Recording Company on October 2.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Martin to discuss the record and this is what she said about it.

When did you begin writing the material for Fall On Your Sword?

I began writing the music for it in the winter after we finished recording Moxie, early in 2013. My drummer from Raise the Rent and I got together and decided on some beat loops to start from and I began building the bones over that winter and spring. It took a while to get into, we were full swing tracking Frost as I was starting to write, so everything moved pretty slowly. The last song that I wrote for Fall On Your Sword was ‘Love Is A Rebellious Bird’, and it wasn’t even going to be on this project. But sometimes you have to listen to your friends, and it made it in- about a month before deadline in May.

Which of the songs on the LP is most different from your original concept for the song?

‘Willing Victim’ is definitely the chameleon on the album. When we play it live it gets much heavier, much meatier than the wispy, ethereal version that made the final cut. Time signatures are big part of where the writing came from and that song starts in 5/4 on the album (inspired by ‘Samson’ by PJ Harvey), something that the band has yet to make happen live. I had wanted to write a piece to bookend ‘Cheers Darlin’ from Moxie, I guess in some ways I’ve always been trying to write something that makes me feel like Tom Waits’ ‘Dirt In the Ground’ mixed with Lucinda Williams’ ‘Unsuffer Me’, something that feels like it’s floating above us and is immovably anchored all at once, and this one gets close.

We’re told you had 25 guest musicians on the record. How did you get them all coordinated? Seems like a job unto itself.

Thankfully, I had all the time in the world to get the parts tracked. I demoed out most of the arrangements with midi sounds and did some emailing around to get the juices flowing. The core band that plays with me live (horns, drums, organ) did their parts, and special guests trickled in over the course of dinner party or visiting-from-out-of-town impromptu ‘hey listen to this and try something while you’re here’ moments. Little Ugly, a band from Hartford, and I recorded a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘People Get Ready’ for example, and while they were hanging out drinking margaritas with me after I threw ‘Bees Made Honey In the Lion’s Head’ on and suddenly had the a bunch of the gang chorus happening off the cuff.

The record covers so many different styles. Was that always the plan? To tackle so many different sounds?

Yeah, that’s universally my plan, simply because it’s all I’ve got. I don’t even know how it happens- I have tried, in the wake of criticism, to write in one genre. I just can’t seem to do it. Believe it or not, this album is the least varied of the four I’ve made. So I’ve decided to embrace the weird and hope for the best. Like most songwriters will tell you, the songs come from outside us, we just catch them as they pass us by- you don’t get to tell the muse what to give you. You just get to choose what to record, and I chose them all.

We hear a lot of Tom Waits in your sound. We assume he’s an influence. What other artists are big influences on you?

Yeah, Tom is tops. I like good writing. Performance is in the back seat to good writing for me- so I get down with folks who spend more time on lyrics than guitar licks. Currently spinning: John Moreland, Joe Fletcher (from whom I borrow unabashedly), on a production level Lana Del Rey, and I’ve been digging deep into Songs: Ohia lately. Because my fella and I own a record shop, I listen to everything all the time. I’m lucky to get so many albums coming through my world, and tons of them get into my head along the way.

Do you have any touring plans for fall?

Sure do! Headed out for seven weeks starting October 9. Full schedule is at http://daphneleemartin.com/shows - Ghettoblaster Magazine


Martin flirts with multiple genres from smooth jazz, to rap, folk to Spanish flamenco. The experimental air about this album gives it a unique edge, containing raw imagination, the kind the music industry hasn’t seen for while.
Martin embarks on a journey to create an album that is both timeless and aware of current trends. Her deep, soulful, smooth vocals are dripping with passion and spirit, blending perfectly in the balance of each track.
With this album, Martin is showing the world her vast capabilities and vivid imagination. An expression of real gumption and resourcefulness, it intertwines a multitude of genres together without making it feel disjointed or out of place. Even the Crazy Frog makes an appearance! She is definitely someone paving the way for new directions with this unique collection of tracks. An album that should certainly satisfy those craving some clever song writing and interesting arrangements. - GIGsoup


Fall On Your Sword is the fourth full-length album from Daphne Lee Martin, and the first to be produced by the songwriter herself. According to Martin, this collection of songs was written as a whole, “encompassing memories of fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.”

The result is rich, compelling, and funky, as this track, featuring rapper SuaveSki, ably demonstrates. Turn it up! - Big Takeover Magazine


“Connecticut singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin knows that without a steadily beating heart a song is just an empty vessel for empty emotion. But over the course of a handful of records, she has given life to the music that inhabits those albums. Her voice is clear, her words distinct and her music culled from a wide assortment of influences—which makes them feel timeless but also curiously prescient in their examination of current musical trends. There will always be something wonderfully restorative about a simple song told in supreme confidence, and Martin has that inherent conviction running throughout her history.
She’s gearing up for the release of her fourth record, “Fall on Your Sword,” Oct. 2 via Martin’s own Telegraph Recording Co. And in advance of that album, she’s shared the single “I’d Take a Bullet for You,” and it’s an addicting combination of jazzy riffs, brassy horn arrangements and a voice that rings out clearly in the middle of everything. Martin has found an ebullient pop aesthetic that fits her musical tendencies perfectly. This song places a series of spoken word narratives among the music and uses them as a bridge to tell a very specific story. Still, Martin isn’t revealing everything—she’s merely tempting us with the promise of more stories to come.” - Nooga.com


Daphne Lee Martin’s music is lush and imaginative, her flourishing style exemplified on new track “I’d Take A Bullet For You.” The song comes from her forthcoming LP, Fall On Your Sword, and features a plethora of horns, jangly drum lines and even a spoken-word portion. Fall On Your Sword, Martin’s fourth album, will be released October 2. - Magnet


The forthcoming new album Fall on Your Sword by Connecticut singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin is a wonderfully eclectic collection of songs inspired by stories we’ve heard as youngsters, from fairy tales, to cautionary tales, to pop culture events from the 20th century. The lavish track “I’d Take a Bullet for You” draws its inspiration from one of the most romanticized couples of the past century.

”“Who doesn’t want to wake up next to someone who drives them wild?” Martin says. “Sometimes at any cost. There’s a reason we’re fascinated by the story of Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow, we all kind of want to be them just a little bit. Go crazy, take what we want, and make love on the run.” - PopMatters


Daphne Lee Martin

Posted on April 20, 2015 in Featured Artist by Richie Frieman
New London, Connecticut crooner Daphne Lee Martin is, in every sense of the word, true to her craft. The singer/songwriter who dabbles in bits on country, jazz and pop, is one of few artists we’ve come across that lives, breaths, eats and sleeps music – from her vinyl record shop, The Telegraph, to her life of song writing, musical collaborations, and live performances. Martin herself, as much as she’s immersed in her craft, has a difficult time describing her songs…but her description is best nonetheless:
Daphne Lee Martin -1“I feel like I sound like a filthy martini two thirds of the time, and satin sheets the other third. If you figure out what genre I am, please tell me, because I never know what to tell people when they ask about it. I feel like the kid that uses all the wrong colors in the coloring book; black lemons and purple grass, yellow elephants and green bricks.”

Music came early for Daphne, and she released her first record along with her mother and sister at the age of 17, as the trio the Windlasses. Shortly after that, Martin found herself in NYC with the Folk Music Society of New York. After gaining fantastic experience on the giant soundscape of the Big Apple, Daphne took to the water, sailing around the world on ships using music as a means of teaching sustainability, environmental science, and the importance of traditions to the communities of the future.

Martin’s story continues, when she finally landed in New London, playing with bands such as Raise the Rent. Today, she is standing on her own following the release of her debut twin records, Moxie and Frost, and continues to work on a fresh collection titled Fall On Your Sword. The album isn’t due out until the Fall, but Daphne has stayed our appetite for new music for now with a fresh cover of “Reciprocity”, from Loudon Wainwright III’s 1976 record, T Shirt. You can listen to the song by clicking over to http://daphneleemartin.com/, but we still wanted to get into the details of the upcoming full collection.

Martin told us more about Fall On Your Sword, saying “This is the first record I have written as a whole. I sat down with my drummer and worked out some beats I wanted to start from, and I decided on some pieces of literature I wanted to base those songs on. It took almost two years to shape them all out. It’s a completely different kind of writing than the lightning strikes kind of stuff I have done before, with each song standing very much on its own. My records have been criticized in the past for being disjointed, more like collections of songs than albums, and I wanted to see if I could build something with lyrical and melodic threads, songs that are all part of one larger piece.” While we’ll have to wait for the new album, you can catch Daphne on tour nationally starting in a couple weeks. Don’t hesitate to make your way to a show. Prepare yourself for all that is to come, by reading on for all of the answers to the XXQs below.

XXQs: Daphne Lee Martin

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what makes you stand out from others in your genre?

Daphne Lee Martin (DM): I feel like I sound like a filthy martini two thirds of the time, and satin sheets the other third. If you figure out what genre I am, please tell me, because I never know what to tell people when they ask about it. I feel like the kid that uses all the wrong colors in the coloring book; black lemons and purple grass, yellow elephants and green bricks. If I had to choose a box, I’d have to say Singer/Songwriter but I lean heavily on country, pop, and jazz influences. I just hate boxes. I want to do it all, and I’ve only just begun! The quotes that have made me smile in the past were Charleston City Paper called me “Torch Folk” and some vinyl seller on eBay labeled my album “Raunchy Cabaret Pop”. I can live with both of those.

PEV: What kind of music were you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

DM: My first big concert in a stadium was The Cranberries with Toad the Wet Sprocket in support. It was incredible. I wanted to be Dolores. And I wanted to write like Glen Phillips then, so that concert was pretty mind-blowing to tween me. I grew up on oldies radio, lots of the pop of the 50s and 60s, old (real) country, and of course the local Appalachian stuff, lots of Old Time music, ballads, hymns, and a healthy dose of the sensitive 70s songwriters like Neil Young, Jim Croce, David Gates, and James Taylor. My mom couldn’t stand playing anyone around the house whose voice wasn’t silky, so folks like Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan were adult acquisitions.

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started? What was your first show like?

DM: I don’t really remember a first show, per se. I’ve been performing informally since I was a kid, and since music has always been a social thing for my family, it seemed as perfectly natural to do it with a microphone and stage as wicker chairs on the porch. Breaking into the “scene” was a similar experience; really just a natural extension of what was already happening. Like I hatched in the estuary and just grew and swam out to deeper waters.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Daphne Lee Martin show?

DM: It all depends on the show. Sometimes I’m able to bring a band out with me, and sometimes I’m all by my lonesome. So you’ll hear different parts of the albums based on the players that can roll with me, lots of backstory, and very often a surprise collaboration with a local musician. Every show is an adventure.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?

DM: Who’s my anchor? There’s almost always someone in the crowd that I can come back to and make eye contact with that is genuinely into what’s going on and they anchor me. I try to find that person early on in the set and make musical love to them. Also, is the organ too loud (laughing)?

PEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?

DM: Stories. For as different as we all are, music has this way of finding us all in the same stories. Moving and thinking and feeling together. I love that most of all.

Daphne Lee Martin 11038748_750552021729749_7923917590042684645_oPEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music?

DM: It’s better than factory work? I’ve never not made music. It wasn’t a choice, it just was. Inspiration comes and goes with moods, sugar highs, relationships. The muse talks when she’s good and ready. There are no rules except the rule that this is what I am, what I do. David Amram is one of my favorite writer/storytellers because when he describes music, he talks about things like the sound of the faucet dripping, or a motorcycle tearing down the street. Sounds that illicit emotion, tell a story. You can find rhythm and vibration in a lot of things if you’re listening.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

DM: Insofar as I like to remember people who have helped me along, yes. There are proud moments and moments where I know I didn’t give it my all, people I could have done better by and situations I should have/have not let happen. But like then, I’m pretty much always looking forward, and glad to have company along the way when the right people stick.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

DM: Wouldn’t you like to know?

PEV: What happens when you hit a brick wall when writing? What are your methods to get over it?

DM: Funny answer first: Gin. And if that doesn’t work, more gin. Then I listen to Paul Simon and want to give up. Then I read more books and it shakes the whole thing loose. Real answer: There’s no end of stories to tell. I also do a lot of ‘living’ on the road, hearing different perspectives and while I do drink gin and read a lot, I find myself going back more and more to all the times I have been surprised or enlightened by someone I’ve met on tour or whose record ripped my heart out.

PEV: How do you think the industry has changed since you first started out?

DM: I own an old school vinyl record shop. And seeing the resurgence of vinyl has been heartwarming in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It’s really easy to get frustrated and say “well the industry is tanked” or “what are these kids listening to these days?” but on the ground, on an individual basis, that’s not what’s going on at all. People crave something REAL, something they can hold, remember, something that is more than a passing fad. That’s where the “industry” lost touch; they blow up a single and take the money and run rather than developing artists. Music is a shared experience, not a spoonful of whatever garbage they want you to swallow. The good stuff always rises to the top.

PEV: What can fans expect from your latest release, a fourth LP titled Fall On Your Sword? What was the writing process like for this album?

DM: This is the first record I have written as a whole. I sat down with my drummer and worked out some beats I wanted to start from, and I decided on some pieces of literature I wanted to base those songs on. It took almost two years to shape them all out. It’s a completely different kind of writing than the lightning strikes kind of stuff I have done before, with each song standing very much on its own. My records have been criticized in the past for being disjointed, more like collections of songs than albums, and I wanted to see if I could build something with lyrical and melodic threads, songs that are all part of one larger piece.

PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

DM: I would love very much to go outside the country, especially in Europe where some of my music has done really well. I’ve traveled sailing and just for fun outside the states, but never to tour. This Spring will be my first run in the American Southwest and I’m really excited to meet people there as well. Traveling has always been one of my favorite things to do; new places, weird stuff, great people. I want to do it all!

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?

DM: My fella is a rock star. Literally. He’s been musician most of his life and has done the touring band thing so he understands very well the demands of what I’m doing now. And he’s all in, just like me. We spent the first bunch of years together building up our home, our community and our record shop so that we could sustain working in music together for a long time without having to go get soul-sucking day jobs. And all of our real friends celebrate the fact that we’re giving this our all, some of them think we’re crazy, but hey…

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

DM: The occasional Netflix binge – just finished the first round of Empire. But when I’m home I’m always trying to get as much time as I can with friends. There’s such an amazing arts scene here and there’s always a gallery opening or poetry performance or play or festival going on, and I want to support all of it and see everyone. My fella and I also work with a couple of non-profit arts groups that put on large scale events around town, so there’s plenty to keep us busy there too.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

DM: Tom Waits. I wouldn’t have taken the shape I did without his voice in the background. But if not Tom, I think Beck, because honestly that sounds like it would be the most fun a person could have with their pants on.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

DM: There are so many good acts kicking around, slogging through the lower tiers of the business catching little breaks as they can. Every new city I visit I meet more of them. I’m crazy about what’s going on in the Philly/NJ scene right now; check out Ron Gallo and Francis Lombardi, each just fantastic writers with new projects coming out that are incredible. For live performance, the best thing I’ve seen in a long time is Tall Tall Trees – you won’t be the same after you see this show. And the East Nashville scene is making REAL honesttogod actual country music again, a breath of fresh air, and at the top of that heap in my opinion is Andrew Combs. His new album will be in my top 5 for a long time to come.

PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what would you do for a career?

DM: Thought hadn’t crossed my mind. But it would have to be some other kind of art.

PEV: So, what is next for Daphne Lee Martin?

DM: Another national run of tour dates in late April and May, regional New England stuff and finishing up my alt-country record in the summer, releasing Fall On Your Sword in September and touring again the rest of the year. Rinse, repeat.

For more information, click to http://daphneleemartin.com - Pen's Eye View


Daphne Lee Martin, "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You" (Tom Waits cover)
There's nothing better than the music of Tom Waits to drag you through the emotional wringer, leaving you exhausted, shivering and exhilarated. And moreso than many other artists, singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin sees the potential in making his songs your own, of finding yourself within the worlds that Waits creates. It's no small task impressing a fan of Tom Waits, but that is exactly what Martin has done with her cover of "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You."

Part of a series of standalone covers, this track lets Martin get at the heart of the music—the slightly foggy piano notes cautiously wrap themselves around her voice, lifting it and unfurling it in subtle and unnerving ways. There's a stark minimalism and grace to the music here, as if Martin is simply a musical conduit to the past. The original had a resonant wellspring of emotion pouring from every musical pore, and Martin ably translates this into something that is respectful yet distinct. - NOOGA | Joshua Pickard


Daphne Lee Martin Covers Talking Heads’ ‘This Must Be The Place’
by Bill Bodkin APRIL 16, 2015

DAPHNE LEE MARTIN COVERS TALKING HEADS

Pop singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin is proud to drop her new single, ‘This Must Be the Place.’ The single is a cover of the iconic Talking Heads track and is a part of Martin’s series of standalone covers which is set to release this spring. Martin’s style is highly unique, giving new tinges and interpretations to every song she covers. Be on the look for her fall release, the full-length album, Fall On Your Sword.

Official Bio: Forever blending genres in the legacy of the great Tin Pan Alley songwriters, Daphne takes beloved traditional southern roots sounds and runs them through megaphones, mellotron, a very old tube amp, a swamp and a dark alley or two. As always, the lyrics are fermented and distilled in a bathtub full of misfit Interbellum prose.

Daphne has been touring nationally for the last few years, and is in the studio working on her fourth full-length release, ‘Fall On Your Sword’.

Daphne and her husband Rich also own an independent old-school vinyl record shop, The Telegraph in New London, CT. - Pop-Break


Daphne Lee Martin

By Gordon Lewis
Singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin has a long history of writing soulful songs. She was inspired by the music she grew up around in Southeastern Ohio and soon began to write her own music. As Daphne began to develop her musical style she decided to move to New London, Connecticut where she met musicians who helped to compliment her style.
Daphne’s vocal style is inspired by Tin Pan alley writers and Tom Waits but her vocal style is reminiscent of Patsy Cline meets Blossom Dearie and Neko Case.
Daphne’s newest release is a cover song single originally written by Tom Waits named “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You.”

Her beautiful take on the Tom Waits song gives it a fresh new taste and feel that makes the song sound like her own original song. I’m sure that Tom Waits would be more than delighted to have Daphne cover a song that she compliments so very well.

The cello and piano arrangement adds a terrific layer to the song “I Hope That I don’t fall In Love With You”
The pizzicato strings add a nice texture behind Daphne’s passionate vocal style, giving the song a bit more of a “lift” as the xylophone/vibraphone giving a simple but sweet musical quality. Daphne has a compelling voice that resonates from within, capturing the listener and truly making them feel the music that she emits.
Be on the lookout for Daphne Lee Martin’s 4th original full-length studio album “Fall On Your Sword” which will be released in September 2015.
Don’t just take my word for it, please give her new release a listen. Here is the link to her Tom Waits cover: - Black On The Canvas


MUSIC NEWS
EXCLUSIVE: Daphne Lee Martin Covers Tom Waits – Listen
Music News | March 2nd, 2015
Daphne Lee Martin, Tom Waits, You Say Trouble I Say Fun tour

As a part of her series of cover song singles, Daphne Lee Martin is releasing her version of the Tom Waits classic “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You” and Elmore has the exclusive premiere.

The song (the original of which first appeared on Waits’ debut album, Closing Time) centers on Martin’s smoky, mournful vocals, accompanied by a reverb-drenched piano and some spare synth strings. It is true to the spirit, if not the instrumentation, of the original, which is perhaps one of the most explicitly romantic songs in Waits’ large, diverse catalog.

Check out the track below, and catch Martin on her You Say Trouble I Say Fun tour through March 23. - Elmore Magazine


Premiere: Daphne Lee Martin - Reciprocity (+ Song of the Day)
Premiere: Daphne Lee Martin – Reciprocity (+ Song of the Day)
by ALEX GALLACHER on 10 MARCH, 2015
in PREMIÈRE, SONG OF THE DAY
Our Song of the Day is a premiere from Daphne Lee Martin with her new cover single “Reciprocity”, a song some of you may recall came from the pen of Loudon Wainwright III which featured on his T Shirt album from 1976.

Daphne Lee Martin has clearly given a lot of thought to the songs she’d like to cover and her reasons for covering this song just emphasise her admirable approach:

I chose this cover because I grew up listening to the more comic songs of Loudon Wainwright iii and when I stumbled on a vinyl copy of the T Shirt album and gave it a spin, I was completely struck by the depth and darkness of the lyrics in this piece. When I asked around, it seemed like hardly anyone had even heard the song, let alone covered it. It’s a tremendous piece of writing and I hope that more people will discover his more obscure catalog.

In this instance she not only delivers a very fine version accompanied by Eric Michael Lichter, owner of Dirt Floor Studios in Chester, CT. but together they breathe new life into it. The song is one of a series of stand alone covers, set to release this spring.



The T Shirt album was, for want of a better explanation, released at the wrong time when the music climate was shifting to punk rock. A narrow-minded journalist on Rolling Stone added fuel to the fire by slaying it in a review that reportedly saw Loudon take to his bed for 5 days. Time has healed that wound and it has since been re-mastered but what better measure of a song then to see a young talent like Daphne Lee Martin cover it out of a genuine love of the songwriting.

For those who need their memories refreshing on the original, how about this live 1977 performance on the Old Grey Whistle Test.



Daphne Lee Martin will release her 4th original full-length studio album, Fall On Your Sword, in September 2015. - Folk Radio UK


Singer-Songwriter Daphne Lee Martin Releases Loudon Wainwright III Cover

Pop singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin recently released her newest cover single “Reciprocity”, from Loudon Wainwright III’s 1976 record T Shirt.. Listen HERE! - Vents Magazine


THE RIGHT COVERAGE - Set to release on the same day as TV on the Radio's long-awaited new album, this is the World Premiere of this most worthy TVOTR cover by Connecticut songstress DAPHNE LEE MARTIN. On the track, Martin is accompanied by Graham Thompson (guest co-vocals) and David Keith (drums). All other parts are covered and recorded by Daphne herself.
What's Next? More covers before the release of a new album of Daphne Lee Martin songs. "This is the 3rd cover release in a series, there are at least 3 more coming over the next few months," writes Daphne, adding she intends to tease audiences with a forthcoming album, Fall On Your Sword (2015). Definitely One To Watch. - Ryan's Smashing Life


Connecticut songstress, Daphne Lee Martin is preparing to release new album Fall On Your Sword in 2015. On the way to the album, Martin has promised covers and other surprises. The first of those surprises is a cover of TV on the Radio‘s “Ambulance.” Backed by shuffling drums and light keys, Martin’s sultry voice is allowed to shine. - Surviving the Golden Age


Check out this cover of Tom Waits’ song, I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You from indie singer Daphne Lee Martin, which she recently released.

Stay tuned for her 4th original full-length studio album, Fall On Your Sword, in September 2015.



Facebook | @DameCalico - Indie Minded


Daphne Lee Martin with Cranston Dean and The Overgrowns – Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury Park, NJ) – Thursday, February 19, 2015

19 May 2015
by Mark Suppanz
Talk about a diamond in the rough! With temperatures hovering around 0°F (and wind chills expected to reach a bone-numbing minus-20°F), the normally hopping Asbury Park boardwalk was like a desolate, ice-encrusted tundra on the Siberian peninsula. But like a secluded, stove-warmed Antarctic science station, this sparsely-adorned yet snug oceanfront bar – which thankfully did not require yacht ownership for entry – provided a relaxing respite from the Fargo-esque, flesh-freezing conditions. Only 15 or so fanatical friends and fans braved the cold climes, but the skimpy turnout served to strengthen the evening’s intimacy and sociability; one lucky patron even got a show-opening birthday serenade.

Golden-voiced, graceful, and good-natured New London, CT chanteuse Martin, who was gearing up for a month-long eastern U.S. tour, was second on this triple bill. Playing without her regular bandmates, presumably cradled on the comfy couches of their heated homes, Martin came armed with a guitar, banjo, and keyboard (she had to cart in all of her instruments, worried they’d glaciate in the trunk of her car). She opened her set with a couple of requests from your esteemed correspondent: the playful “Sweet & Down Low” – a song inspired by Don Marquis’s classic New York Evening Sun cockroach/alley cat characters Archy & Mehitabel – and the brisker, Henry Miller-influenced “Molotov,” both from her 2013 second LP Moxie.





Martin followed with a few from her newest 2014 third album, the aptly-titled-for-this-night Frost, including a shortened version of the lovely “The Night We Fell in Love” (a song commemorating her ninth wedding anniversary) and the jazz-flecked “More Flies with Honey,” named after an oft-uttered line from her granddad. She rounded out her set with a twangy, banjo-plucked cover of Gillian Welch’s 2001 “My First Lover,” and a gorgeous, set-closing rendition of Tom Waits’s “I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love with You” (from his 1973 debut Closing Time), performed on keyboard. Martin alone ensured that this show was worth the wearying weeknight trek and fleeting flirtations with frostbite.



Her set was sandwiched by those of two local NJ artists I was previously unfamiliar with. Like Martin, the Jersey Shore’s Dean was playing sans his band. Though the bearded Dean looked like he could’ve been a stand-in for Al Pacino in Serpico, he crooned like a Tim Buckley or Jim Croce inspired folkie in some smoky ‘60s coffeehouse, alternately introspective and interactive. And country-splashed rock foursome The Overgrowns may have made light of their greenness, like when they announced one song was being played with little rehearsal, or when they joked before the final tune that they didn’t know any more. But their solid playing and confident, potent-piped frontman portended promise. - Big Takeover Magazine


Is it getting hot in here, or is it just Daphne Lee Martin’s sultry new video for her song “Belly?” Directed by Jimi Patterson, the clip features a dancer rendered in high contrast, moving sensually in time to the music. The song has a sexy R&B feel accentuated by Martin’s tousled voice, the slinky ooh-ooh background vocals and atmospheric keyboards that swirl past the deep, steady bassline.

The song is different from, but in keeping with, the tone of the tunes on her previous full-length, 2011's “Dig & Be Dug,” which the New London, Conn., singer recorded with her collective ensemble Raise the Rent. “Belly” is one of 10 songs on Martin’s new album “Moxie,” which came out last month on the Telegraph Recording Company. - Listen, Dammit!


Daphne has been a fixture on the Connecticut music scene for years with her bands Raise the Rent and Roadside Attractions. She was voted “Best Country Artist” at last year’s Connecticut Music Awards. Her brand new record, Moxie is an altogether different affair. Less a collection of songs – more a soundtrack to a wild burlesque show. Underwater, dreamy vocals, you hear reggae beats under New Orleans horns….bossa nova…honky tonk…Gypsy and swing….all in a late-night cabaret. We’ll be hearing this new music played live – right here at The Telegraph. Later, we’ll be talking more about the music scene in New London, about the “vinyl revival” – and we hope you can join us. - NPR's Where We Live


Daphne has been a fixture on the Connecticut music scene for years with her bands Raise the Rent and Roadside Attractions. She was voted “Best Country Artist” at last year’s Connecticut Music Awards. Her brand new record, Moxie is an altogether different affair. Less a collection of songs – more a soundtrack to a wild burlesque show. Underwater, dreamy vocals, you hear reggae beats under New Orleans horns….bossa nova…honky tonk…Gypsy and swing….all in a late-night cabaret. We’ll be hearing this new music played live – right here at The Telegraph. Later, we’ll be talking more about the music scene in New London, about the “vinyl revival” – and we hope you can join us. - NPR's Where We Live


An apt way to categorize Moxie, the new album from Daphne Lee Martin, would be to call it “steam punk pop,” for it is equally retro and modern and thoroughly out this world. Artfully produced by Bill Readey at Fuzzy Rainbow Production, with her band Raise The Rent, the ten song collection mixes a myriad of sounds organic and electrophonic, including strings, woodwinds, brass, mellotron, raw percussion and bracing electric guitar. All of this clever accompaniment lifts Martin’s loose vocal stylings and cheeky Tin Pan Alley songwriting to high theatrical settings. The waltzing “Whiskey and Sin,” finds Martin channeling Peggy Lee singing in some interstellar speakeasy backed by Jack White, where the fashion of bowler hats and bow ties are mixed with Go Go boots and mini-skirts. The cabaret melodrama “Molotov,” is a cinematic epic all on its own mixing swinging drums with moog and banjo to tell a bawdy lover’s lament. “Faithless Beauty,” is a wonderfully orchestrated Bossa Nova duet of tangled lovers trading barbs, while the infectious reggae groove and melodic hook of “Whispers,” is an album highlight that floats from a Jamaican dance hall all the way to New Orleans when the horns add the soaring St. Louis Blues coda. The chilling macabre of “Cheers, Darlin” would be a suitable soundtrack to the works of Anne Rice. If the SyFy channel ever decides to bring back Firefly, Joss Whedon may have found his new house band in Daphne Lee Martin and Raise The Rent as Moxie exemplifies strength and breadth through musical talents. - Innocent Words


When writing an album review I personally have always liked when the reviewer gives you some comparison or reference so that you can get a “sense” of the sound. For instance, you will hear many times in rock reviews that a song has a Zeppelin”esque” sound to it or reminiscent of the Stones. Daphne Lee Martin’s Moxie is reminiscent of NOTHING. It stands alone.

The first track is Sweet & Low Down. A throwback to the 20’s era with horns and the sultry sounds of Daphne enveloping you. Being a child of the 80’s and growing up with the MTV generation that actually saw music videos played, I find myself setting the stage for how this song would look if brought to the big screen; visions of Capone and redheads in flapper dresses takes over my mind. Just when I think I have Daphne’s sound all figured out she throws “Belly” at you with a drum beat and guitar rhythm that fast forwards the time machine to the early 70’s and you literally want to strut down the sidewalk blasting this soulful tune in your ears while you take in the sights and sounds of the city streets.

Faithless Beauty is literally a Tango between two lovers and I couldn’t get enough of this tune. I played it three times just to hear the lyrics again. John Panos is brilliant on trumpet filling the air with the battle cry between a man and woman and the song ends as abruptly as the relationship and that’s exactly how it should.

I can’t get over how Daphne infuses so many genres into one record. She mixes soul, reggae, Latin, and who knows what other influences she has sprinkled in between to delight your senses. The only constant in this album is the forever ethereal voice of Daphne herself. She knows who she is and what type of singer she was born to be. She isn’t trying to adapt her vocals to the style of the song and that’s what makes it even more intriguing.

Daphne is ahead of her time, yet born too late. She could have been a torch singer. In her sequin gowns and long cigarettes, yet her vision and arrangements are the future of the music industry. A fresh new sound born from the classics. It is what musicians should aspire for. Moxie is like your favorite grandmothers candy dish. A mixture of your favorites all rolled in to one and literally something for everyone. - Local Band Review


When writing an album review I personally have always liked when the reviewer gives you some comparison or reference so that you can get a “sense” of the sound. For instance, you will hear many times in rock reviews that a song has a Zeppelin”esque” sound to it or reminiscent of the Stones. Daphne Lee Martin’s Moxie is reminiscent of NOTHING. It stands alone.

The first track is Sweet & Low Down. A throwback to the 20’s era with horns and the sultry sounds of Daphne enveloping you. Being a child of the 80’s and growing up with the MTV generation that actually saw music videos played, I find myself setting the stage for how this song would look if brought to the big screen; visions of Capone and redheads in flapper dresses takes over my mind. Just when I think I have Daphne’s sound all figured out she throws “Belly” at you with a drum beat and guitar rhythm that fast forwards the time machine to the early 70’s and you literally want to strut down the sidewalk blasting this soulful tune in your ears while you take in the sights and sounds of the city streets.

Faithless Beauty is literally a Tango between two lovers and I couldn’t get enough of this tune. I played it three times just to hear the lyrics again. John Panos is brilliant on trumpet filling the air with the battle cry between a man and woman and the song ends as abruptly as the relationship and that’s exactly how it should.

I can’t get over how Daphne infuses so many genres into one record. She mixes soul, reggae, Latin, and who knows what other influences she has sprinkled in between to delight your senses. The only constant in this album is the forever ethereal voice of Daphne herself. She knows who she is and what type of singer she was born to be. She isn’t trying to adapt her vocals to the style of the song and that’s what makes it even more intriguing.

Daphne is ahead of her time, yet born too late. She could have been a torch singer. In her sequin gowns and long cigarettes, yet her vision and arrangements are the future of the music industry. A fresh new sound born from the classics. It is what musicians should aspire for. Moxie is like your favorite grandmothers candy dish. A mixture of your favorites all rolled in to one and literally something for everyone. - Local Band Review


Daphne Lee Martin is a huge fan of all sorts of music. Simultaneously, she’s a gifted a prolific singer/songwriter. In the context, then, of the Great Flow Chart of her Career Path, this is both intoxicating and problematic.

On the one hand, the more music and artists Martin hears – and, with husband Rich Martin, she co-owns the astoundingly diverse Telegraph record store in New London – the more adventurous she gets. And the more she subsequently develops her own songcraft, the harder it is for her to keep up because, by the time she finishes one project and gets it into the marketplace, she’s already written several more songs and ventured further down the creative highway.

Her latest CD, “Moxie,” which will be celebrated tonight as part of the Hygienic Pre-Fix show at the Oasis Pub in New London, is a case in point. An evocative song cycle loosely reflecting the philosophy and moods of the title character – an “unapologetic whore,” as Martin describes her – the record is a splendid, sultry, humidity-drenched soundtrack of dark bars, connective hangovers and the varieties of brothel-tasseled intimacy. To go along with the new album, Martin, who for years has performed with the group Raise the Rent, will also debut a new band comprising guitarist/keyboardist Bill Readey, multi-instrumentalist Matt Lindauer, drummer Bob Burt and bassist Gary Velush.

As a writer, Martin is like a vastly creative and confident chef – blithely willing to experiment with seasonings and flavors such as blues, Gypsy, swing, Cajun, roots, cabaret and gospel. New and clever songs flow out of her. It’s not surprising, then, that even as Martin was in New Haven’s Fuzzy Rainbows studio recording the new album with the help of producer Bill Readey and an all-star core of New London and statewide musicians, she was also writing and recording a quasi-companion record called “Frost” – the conceptual yin to “Moxie’s” yang.

“‘Moxie’ is the bad girl, and ‘Frost’ is the sister project – down to the artwork, production and interlocking themes,” Martin says. “Most of ‘Frost’ is in the can now, waiting on her big sister to spend herself. The songs on ‘Frost’ are more lighthearted to balance against ‘Moxie.’ The problem now is, I’m already writing and recording two more records. I guess I know what I’ll be doing until 2015.” If time seems to be moving so quickly that Martin will never catch up with her own Muse, she finds the whole ongoing arithmetic ratio of her productivity actually benefits the work. For example, the “Moxie” material she originally wrote five years ago had, by the time she finally got into the studio to record it, plenty of time to marinate and become integrated with her ongoing learning process.

“I think if a song is good at its root, it should be able to translate into any setting,” says Martin, who with Raise the Rent constantly experiments with arrangements of her material. “But this record was surprising to me because it was the first time I felt the songs had become real – like falling in love versus really deeply loving someone you’ve known a long time.” Indeed. Listen, for example, to the icily beautiful “Cheers, Darlin’”; the k.d. lang-goes-gypsy of “Molotov”; the trippy ballad “Belly”; or the spectral Euro-cabaret of “A Little Bit.” They make it easy to appreciate Martin’s studied but almost mystical approach to songwriting.

“There’s a meaning and power that lives and grows beyond the first emotional experience that inspired the song or the catharsis of shaping it and sharing it,” she says. “The song takes on a life of its own, and instead of you being the author of it, you are in a relationship with it. So, even though the words are the same as they have been for maybe four years, the way I tell the story holds a new kind of intensity and understanding.” - The Day


The home singer/songwriter Daphne Lee Martin shares with her husband, Rich, in downtown New London is historic, artsy, lovingly painted and bright.

But their basement is right out of a rock ‘n roll documentary.

Strands of lights hang down over posters behind the stage, casting glints of light on the drum set. Stuffed sofas are arranged around a low coffee table. It’s the kind of setup a teenager dreams about. ”Everyone says, ‘when I grow up I’m going to do this,’” Daphne smiles, glancing around. ”Well I grew up, and I did it.”

That’s not all she’s done. A homeschooled student, she finished high school at 16. She left college to move to New York City in 1998. She spent two seasons living and working at sea. Now, in addition to being the lead singer and songwriter for the American roots band Raise the Rent, she serves as treasurer of the Hygienic Art performance venue and gallery and co-ownsThe Telegraph record store and The Telegraph Recording Company on Golden Street with her husband.

“New London is lucky to have her,” said Sue Menhart of the Sue Menhart Band, adding that Daphne leaves a “lasting impression” on those who work with her. ”She’s all music all the time, and inspires others, including myself, to push harder, go deeper, and strive for excellence.”

While Rich grew up in Mystic, Daphne hails from Roseville, Ohio. But in separate interviews, both said they fell in love with the artistic climate and energy in New London. ”Neither of us come from a background where we had a lot given to us,” said Rich, who serves as Hygienic’s managing director.

“We really had to make it for ourselves. And that’s something we find attractive about our lives and living here. We do have to do the hard work. But the satisfaction of that is you’ve got something wholly of yourself and your community that a lot of people can celebrate in.”

“Our lives here — this is by design,” Daphne said. “We live downtown; we walk to work. The Hygienic and the shop are within 40 feet of each other. This is all very composed. We wanted our lives to look like this for a long time and we put those pieces into place.”

Her parents and sister are now all living in Florida. Daphne also has a two-year-old nephew there, and is “plotting and scheming a tour” to visit them. In the meantime, she’s figuring how to marry the running of a small business with the life of a performing musician.

“We’ve got a few interns at the shop to help out with things,” she said. “Although we have had to resort to ‘rock n’ roll emergencies,’ where we just put a sign up on the door at the shop and say ‘Due to a rock n’ roll emergency, we are unable to be open. If you really need to get in, call our cell phones.’ We try not to do that more often than we have to.” They also get by with a little help from their friends, including Daybreak’s Saturday columnist Stephen Chupaska.

“I think what surfaces with Daphne is that she’s authentic,” Chupaska said. “She’s been playing folk music for as long as she’s been alive — but she doesn’t stray into the closed off and boring world that some traditionalists inhabit. She also is good at atmosphere in a song. I think “Saratoga Rain” is perhaps her best song and I haven’t once listened to the words, which is odd for a writer. There’s an exquisite, gemlike shimmer to it.”

Grace caught up with Daphne to find out how she’s following up “Dig & Be Dug,” Raise the Rent’s first album. What we got was a dialogue about what it really means to have a vocation in life — to see and know your purpose, and the personal, even spiritual commitment it requires on the part of the artist.

Grace: You’ve said that you see yourself as a translator for bygone sounds — gypsy, Appalachian ballads, tin pan alley tunes, etc. How did you arrive at that place where you said, ‘This is where my heart is.’

Daphne Lee Martin: Growing up I listened to a lot of traditional music … I loved the traditional forms, and I could see it years ago, that there was this huge disconnect between the music I grew up playing, and the music everybody seemed to be listening to. I felt like a whole lot of people really needed to bridge that gap and I would definitely be one of them.

I knew I was going to be bored out of my skull if I tried to do one kind of music for the rest of my life. I never wanted to get pigeon-holed into a particular genre or style.

Is there a price to pay for going against the grain?

My folk music community growing up freaked out — like, Dylan ’65 freaked out — when I picked up an electric guitar for the first time. When they heard my record they were like, “What are you DOING?” Not that I’m blacklisted, particularly, but it’s definitely not their thing.

It must be odd when you can identify a gap in culture, where you feel like ‘I’m not hearing this kind of sound or seeing this kind of writing…’

Right. There was the folk revival of the 60s — people like Pete Seeger and Joan Baez and those guys … but then you - Grace Magazine


The home singer/songwriter Daphne Lee Martin shares with her husband, Rich, in downtown New London is historic, artsy, lovingly painted and bright.

But their basement is right out of a rock ‘n roll documentary.

Strands of lights hang down over posters behind the stage, casting glints of light on the drum set. Stuffed sofas are arranged around a low coffee table. It’s the kind of setup a teenager dreams about. ”Everyone says, ‘when I grow up I’m going to do this,’” Daphne smiles, glancing around. ”Well I grew up, and I did it.”

That’s not all she’s done. A homeschooled student, she finished high school at 16. She left college to move to New York City in 1998. She spent two seasons living and working at sea. Now, in addition to being the lead singer and songwriter for the American roots band Raise the Rent, she serves as treasurer of the Hygienic Art performance venue and gallery and co-ownsThe Telegraph record store and The Telegraph Recording Company on Golden Street with her husband.

“New London is lucky to have her,” said Sue Menhart of the Sue Menhart Band, adding that Daphne leaves a “lasting impression” on those who work with her. ”She’s all music all the time, and inspires others, including myself, to push harder, go deeper, and strive for excellence.”

While Rich grew up in Mystic, Daphne hails from Roseville, Ohio. But in separate interviews, both said they fell in love with the artistic climate and energy in New London. ”Neither of us come from a background where we had a lot given to us,” said Rich, who serves as Hygienic’s managing director.

“We really had to make it for ourselves. And that’s something we find attractive about our lives and living here. We do have to do the hard work. But the satisfaction of that is you’ve got something wholly of yourself and your community that a lot of people can celebrate in.”

“Our lives here — this is by design,” Daphne said. “We live downtown; we walk to work. The Hygienic and the shop are within 40 feet of each other. This is all very composed. We wanted our lives to look like this for a long time and we put those pieces into place.”

Her parents and sister are now all living in Florida. Daphne also has a two-year-old nephew there, and is “plotting and scheming a tour” to visit them. In the meantime, she’s figuring how to marry the running of a small business with the life of a performing musician.

“We’ve got a few interns at the shop to help out with things,” she said. “Although we have had to resort to ‘rock n’ roll emergencies,’ where we just put a sign up on the door at the shop and say ‘Due to a rock n’ roll emergency, we are unable to be open. If you really need to get in, call our cell phones.’ We try not to do that more often than we have to.” They also get by with a little help from their friends, including Daybreak’s Saturday columnist Stephen Chupaska.

“I think what surfaces with Daphne is that she’s authentic,” Chupaska said. “She’s been playing folk music for as long as she’s been alive — but she doesn’t stray into the closed off and boring world that some traditionalists inhabit. She also is good at atmosphere in a song. I think “Saratoga Rain” is perhaps her best song and I haven’t once listened to the words, which is odd for a writer. There’s an exquisite, gemlike shimmer to it.”

Grace caught up with Daphne to find out how she’s following up “Dig & Be Dug,” Raise the Rent’s first album. What we got was a dialogue about what it really means to have a vocation in life — to see and know your purpose, and the personal, even spiritual commitment it requires on the part of the artist.

Grace: You’ve said that you see yourself as a translator for bygone sounds — gypsy, Appalachian ballads, tin pan alley tunes, etc. How did you arrive at that place where you said, ‘This is where my heart is.’

Daphne Lee Martin: Growing up I listened to a lot of traditional music … I loved the traditional forms, and I could see it years ago, that there was this huge disconnect between the music I grew up playing, and the music everybody seemed to be listening to. I felt like a whole lot of people really needed to bridge that gap and I would definitely be one of them.

I knew I was going to be bored out of my skull if I tried to do one kind of music for the rest of my life. I never wanted to get pigeon-holed into a particular genre or style.

Is there a price to pay for going against the grain?

My folk music community growing up freaked out — like, Dylan ’65 freaked out — when I picked up an electric guitar for the first time. When they heard my record they were like, “What are you DOING?” Not that I’m blacklisted, particularly, but it’s definitely not their thing.

It must be odd when you can identify a gap in culture, where you feel like ‘I’m not hearing this kind of sound or seeing this kind of writing…’

Right. There was the folk revival of the 60s — people like Pete Seeger and Joan Baez and those guys … but then you - Grace Magazine


Every once in a while some new music comes this writer’s way that is so damned brilliant that it makes the task of writing about it daunting. Such is the case with New London-based singer-songwriter, Daphne Lee Martin’s sprawling and sexy new release,Moxie (Telegraph Recording Company). Martin’s done a complete 360 stylistically from her equally adventurous 2011 album (with her band, Raise the Rent), Dig & Be Dug.

With its Farfisa organ and surf guitar-attack propelling the angst-ridden track, “Sweet & Low Down,” forward; Martin delivers the goods on this decidedly hybrid take on Northern soul. “Whiskey and Sin,” finds her lusty and wistful — wanting her boy “to do it” to her against a backdrop of caterwauling guitars, speakeasy trumpet and trip hop beat reminiscent of Portishead (plus, the first of many references to alcohol).

The album’s breakout track, “Belly,” is a sinewy, gorgeous jam that fell off the Lovage truck. Yes, whitey-white Martin makes us groove unrepentantly to something transgressive (pay attention to the lyrics) here. Her musical wardrobe changes are as varied as they are wildly unexpected. “House That Built Itself,” with its 80’s retro vibe runs into the shuffling, vaguely Eastern Euro, “Molotov,” (which in turn, morphs into a cosmic bluegrass jam) are beyond just “awesome.” On “Whispers,” she wrings out every last scornful syllable to an errant lover over a klezmer and old school dub beat.

Moxie is all about sex – wanting it, lamenting it, and being revolted by it (maybe?). And it’s also exquisitely produced thanks to producer, Bill Readey, who extracts some serious golden moments from the various players on the record while creating an evocative soundscape which complements MLM’s voice. To pick one track over another as truly “adventurous” is difficult, but if I had to pick one — “Cheers, Darlin’” is it. Beginning with the opening cinematic orchestral score (the clink of a bottlecap hitting the floor is a nice touch), the moody plucking piano strings, minor horn blasts and the acoustic guitar and chorus interludes, Readey teases out of Martin her horniest best. - Examiner.com


Sometimes, I feel just so damn classy. Something about exiting the world around me and entering my bedroom, blasting an album and living in the world of my own existence makes me feel like the most dignified person in the room (probably because I am the only one too). You indulge in a self reflection that is both selfish and scathing, apologetic and spiteful. Moxie, the new album by Daphne Lee Martin of Telegraph Recording Company, could perhaps be the soundtrack to this exact scenario. A 40 min stroll through devilishly delightful bluesy tunes, Moxie is the first of twin records: Frost & Moxie, or ‘treat a queen like a whore and a whore like a queen’ as explained by Daphne. In this case, Moxie is the unapologetic whore, expressing itself from the plaintive cries in tattered Whiskey & Sin to the madness of Molotov.

Beginning with “Sweet and Low Down“, Daphne initiates the album with a skip through a sin city, if you will. Between cigarettes and Old Crow, the lyrics as well as the general feel is all too familiar: something I can only assume most readers can sympathize with. Those evenings idly staring off in a dive bar off the beaten path, fumbling through packs and thoughts of what lays ahead. And with a bass line that walks you through the ups and downs, it appears to never leave you throughout the rest of the album.

It is, of course, worth noting that not only does this album include Daphne’s full band Raise the Rent, Moxie also showcases some work by John Panos of Mates of State, an addition which oddly makes perfect sense. Regardless, Moxie stands out as an album which pays a well suited ode to the often abused bluesy melodies without falling into clichéd motifs. Grab a listen and, while you’re at it, a download. For those moments of classiness and isolation, Daphne’s Moxie places the perfect companion. Which makes me all the more excited to meet Frost.

- Dissociative Identity Producions | WKDU Phildelphia


There are songwriters who'd rather get all of their teeth pulled than talk about their songs.

Daphne Lee Martin, a New London-based singer-songwriter who celebrates the release of her new album, Moxie, with a show at the Oasis Pub this Friday, is not one of those. Martin blogs extensively about her work. (Visit her website, for example, if you're wondering why an extended sample of Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges' voice shows up on "House That Built Itself.") She wants to be understood, without having to change the way she writes. And blogging about her songs, sometimes months or years after they were written, is about exorcism and elucidation, in equal parts.

"It's like staring at a piece of art in a museum for a long time, and then reading the little description on the right," Martin said by phone. "That's how it feels for me. It's also a way of sussing out the weak points, I guess, and giving myself a good laugh, how silly my mind is sometimes."

There's a lot to blog about; most of the Moxie songs were written at the end of 2009, a dark period for Martin. She was working 70 hours a week as a high-end chef, a job she hated. She had had some success with the first incarnation of her band, Raise the Rent, but one of my bandmates passed away, and they stopped playing music for about nine months. Martin also battled a health issue that, if left untreated, could have led to something more serious. "At the time, writing those songs was a catharsis for me," she said. "But I couldn't talk about it. It was still too close."

Martin made a few adjustments. She quit her job and opened a record store, which has allowed her to talk to record labels every day. "It's part of the bigger thing for me," Martin said. "In order to imagine the lifestyle of being on the road and to have music be what I do for a living, to have that be realistic for the long term... I think of it as engaging the whole system at once, and that takes a while." A few months ago, she bought a van that would allow her to tour. "We were all looking at each other like, 'What, are we all going to take three cars?' All these little, stupid decisions."

Martin's country side is familiar to Advocate readers; with Raise the Rent, she won last year's statewide Grand Band Slam in that category. Moxie's broad worldview, then, might come as a surprise. There's the bossa nova feel of "Faithless Beauty," which bounces under a Klezmer-like melody, brash Mexican accents and Mellotron pads; the reggae shuffle of "Whispers," a song about her deceased bandmate; the Brit-tronica and slow-drip Rhodes of "Belly"; the Appalachian rumble of "Molotov." There's ragtime here, zydeco there. Martin's not going to be pinned down to country music, to New London, to Connecticut, to anywhere, she seems to be saying. And that takes moxie.

Martin's commitments — to Telegraph Records, which she runs with her husband, Rich; to Hygienic Art, a New London artist collective on whose board she serves — meant she couldn't hole up in a studio for days on end to record Moxie, so she spent much of last winter in her home studio, laying down basic tracks (all the drums, bass, slide guitar, trumpet, some acoustic guitars and vocals). When she was finished, producer Bill Readey took them and suggested what was missing (piano, horns, lead and backing vocals). After seven months, they had 20 songs, enough for a double album. "The last song, 'A Little Bit,' is the wink at the end of the record, the segue to Frost," Martin said, about a "sister" album she'll release next year. "It's the wink at the end of the record that tells you what's coming next...The next one will be a little sweeter, the Good Girl."

Telegraph, Martin said, once happy to provide a snapshot of the local scene, now releases full-length albums and spends time and money to get their artists noticed. Two releases they are currently working are Sidewalk Dave's Hard On Romance and I Do Believe She Flew Out the Drain Pipe, by New Haven's Elison Jackson. Telegraph is also heavily promoting Moxie. (They've even placed a smart-looking ad in American Songwriter.)

The goal is to grow the business. "This isn't about paying to play," Martin said. "This is about making sure people know who you are, giving them a chance to hear it in the first place."

Part of the stylistic shift on Moxie coincides with Martin's plans to tour. After she plays a series of release shows booked in New England through March and April, she'll play her way to SXSW, then hopefully a number of festivals through the summer.

"Like everything else in my life, it's about incremental growth," Martin said. "It's making the life decisions to allow [touring] to happen. I'm the sort of person that, even though my music sounds like I'm a hot mess of emotion and a whirlwind of bad decisions, my actual life is completely OCD, and I over-plan everything. I over-analyze everything. It's almost crippling." - The Advocate


There are songwriters who'd rather get all of their teeth pulled than talk about their songs.

Daphne Lee Martin, a New London-based singer-songwriter who celebrates the release of her new album, Moxie, with a show at the Oasis Pub this Friday, is not one of those. Martin blogs extensively about her work. (Visit her website, for example, if you're wondering why an extended sample of Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges' voice shows up on "House That Built Itself.") She wants to be understood, without having to change the way she writes. And blogging about her songs, sometimes months or years after they were written, is about exorcism and elucidation, in equal parts.

"It's like staring at a piece of art in a museum for a long time, and then reading the little description on the right," Martin said by phone. "That's how it feels for me. It's also a way of sussing out the weak points, I guess, and giving myself a good laugh, how silly my mind is sometimes."

There's a lot to blog about; most of the Moxie songs were written at the end of 2009, a dark period for Martin. She was working 70 hours a week as a high-end chef, a job she hated. She had had some success with the first incarnation of her band, Raise the Rent, but one of my bandmates passed away, and they stopped playing music for about nine months. Martin also battled a health issue that, if left untreated, could have led to something more serious. "At the time, writing those songs was a catharsis for me," she said. "But I couldn't talk about it. It was still too close."

Martin made a few adjustments. She quit her job and opened a record store, which has allowed her to talk to record labels every day. "It's part of the bigger thing for me," Martin said. "In order to imagine the lifestyle of being on the road and to have music be what I do for a living, to have that be realistic for the long term... I think of it as engaging the whole system at once, and that takes a while." A few months ago, she bought a van that would allow her to tour. "We were all looking at each other like, 'What, are we all going to take three cars?' All these little, stupid decisions."

Martin's country side is familiar to Advocate readers; with Raise the Rent, she won last year's statewide Grand Band Slam in that category. Moxie's broad worldview, then, might come as a surprise. There's the bossa nova feel of "Faithless Beauty," which bounces under a Klezmer-like melody, brash Mexican accents and Mellotron pads; the reggae shuffle of "Whispers," a song about her deceased bandmate; the Brit-tronica and slow-drip Rhodes of "Belly"; the Appalachian rumble of "Molotov." There's ragtime here, zydeco there. Martin's not going to be pinned down to country music, to New London, to Connecticut, to anywhere, she seems to be saying. And that takes moxie.

Martin's commitments — to Telegraph Records, which she runs with her husband, Rich; to Hygienic Art, a New London artist collective on whose board she serves — meant she couldn't hole up in a studio for days on end to record Moxie, so she spent much of last winter in her home studio, laying down basic tracks (all the drums, bass, slide guitar, trumpet, some acoustic guitars and vocals). When she was finished, producer Bill Readey took them and suggested what was missing (piano, horns, lead and backing vocals). After seven months, they had 20 songs, enough for a double album. "The last song, 'A Little Bit,' is the wink at the end of the record, the segue to Frost," Martin said, about a "sister" album she'll release next year. "It's the wink at the end of the record that tells you what's coming next...The next one will be a little sweeter, the Good Girl."

Telegraph, Martin said, once happy to provide a snapshot of the local scene, now releases full-length albums and spends time and money to get their artists noticed. Two releases they are currently working are Sidewalk Dave's Hard On Romance and I Do Believe She Flew Out the Drain Pipe, by New Haven's Elison Jackson. Telegraph is also heavily promoting Moxie. (They've even placed a smart-looking ad in American Songwriter.)

The goal is to grow the business. "This isn't about paying to play," Martin said. "This is about making sure people know who you are, giving them a chance to hear it in the first place."

Part of the stylistic shift on Moxie coincides with Martin's plans to tour. After she plays a series of release shows booked in New England through March and April, she'll play her way to SXSW, then hopefully a number of festivals through the summer.

"Like everything else in my life, it's about incremental growth," Martin said. "It's making the life decisions to allow [touring] to happen. I'm the sort of person that, even though my music sounds like I'm a hot mess of emotion and a whirlwind of bad decisions, my actual life is completely OCD, and I over-plan everything. I over-analyze everything. It's almost crippling." - The Advocate


Moxie (Noun) - 1. The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage. 2. Aggressive energy; initiative. 3. Skill; know-how. Yeah, this is a pretty good start in describing the new album from New London's Daphne Lee Martin.

At the tail end of 2011 Daphne Lee Martin and her band Raise The Rent released a swinging mini-compendium of Americana called Dig & Be Dug. When rumors of a new record started to pop up it was noticeable that she was no longer billed alongside her backing band, but as a solo artist now. Nothing new in the world of Americana as artists such as Wooden Wand seem to change they're moniker with every album. There still had to be a reason though, right? Well, let me ask if you're old enough to remember the days when nightclub performers dominated places like Vegas and Atlantic City. They would always do two shows per night. The early show was fun, family friendly and meant for a wide audience. The late show was always risque, maybe a little dark and meant to make you not only smile but blush a little bit. Well, there's the difference between the last Daphne Lee Martin record and this one. Moxie is the "late show".

Really, all the players from the previous album are back to lend a hand alongside a cavalcade of CT musical talent. Members from M.T. Bearington, Elison Jackson, Milksop:Unsung, and Goodnight Blue Moon just to name a few all make appearances. The total of these sum parts finds Martin experimenting and dabbling in a wide array of genres and moods. But if you're fretting that this is some disjointed attempt at paying homage to one's influences then fear not. What Martin has done is take all the sexy out of the speakeasy and make it palpable for people who don't necessarily want to go too far back in time for this type of musical voyeurism.

Tracks like "Faithless Beauty" (featuring Sam Perduta of Elison Jackson on guest vocals) and "Cheers, Darlin'" reach levels of darkness, both sonically and lyrically that Martin has never hit before. To be honest these two tracks alone showcase the breadth of her emotional range, especially when the latter track is followed up by the lounge act styling of "A Little Bit". Again, though, that's what makes Martin's albums so special. There really are very few genres of music that she hasn't dabbled in and every time she comes out on top. Need another example? Try the the track "Belly" with it's Portishead meets funk and jazz vibe.

No matter what angle you look at it from Moxie is a home run of an effort and sure to open Martin up to a whole new portion of her ever-growing fanbase. - ct.com


Moxie (Noun) - 1. The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage. 2. Aggressive energy; initiative. 3. Skill; know-how. Yeah, this is a pretty good start in describing the new album from New London's Daphne Lee Martin.

At the tail end of 2011 Daphne Lee Martin and her band Raise The Rent released a swinging mini-compendium of Americana called Dig & Be Dug. When rumors of a new record started to pop up it was noticeable that she was no longer billed alongside her backing band, but as a solo artist now. Nothing new in the world of Americana as artists such as Wooden Wand seem to change they're moniker with every album. There still had to be a reason though, right? Well, let me ask if you're old enough to remember the days when nightclub performers dominated places like Vegas and Atlantic City. They would always do two shows per night. The early show was fun, family friendly and meant for a wide audience. The late show was always risque, maybe a little dark and meant to make you not only smile but blush a little bit. Well, there's the difference between the last Daphne Lee Martin record and this one. Moxie is the "late show".

Really, all the players from the previous album are back to lend a hand alongside a cavalcade of CT musical talent. Members from M.T. Bearington, Elison Jackson, Milksop:Unsung, and Goodnight Blue Moon just to name a few all make appearances. The total of these sum parts finds Martin experimenting and dabbling in a wide array of genres and moods. But if you're fretting that this is some disjointed attempt at paying homage to one's influences then fear not. What Martin has done is take all the sexy out of the speakeasy and make it palpable for people who don't necessarily want to go too far back in time for this type of musical voyeurism.

Tracks like "Faithless Beauty" (featuring Sam Perduta of Elison Jackson on guest vocals) and "Cheers, Darlin'" reach levels of darkness, both sonically and lyrically that Martin has never hit before. To be honest these two tracks alone showcase the breadth of her emotional range, especially when the latter track is followed up by the lounge act styling of "A Little Bit". Again, though, that's what makes Martin's albums so special. There really are very few genres of music that she hasn't dabbled in and every time she comes out on top. Need another example? Try the the track "Belly" with it's Portishead meets funk and jazz vibe.

No matter what angle you look at it from Moxie is a home run of an effort and sure to open Martin up to a whole new portion of her ever-growing fanbase. - ct.com


Most people will probably call Moxie a "modernization" of Daphne Lee Martin's previous Raise the Rent material. I'm going to rebuke those people as lazy. Moxie is far too expansive to be written off with a single word like 'modernized'. Yes, it draws trace elements from what made the Raise the Rent material great, but it trims away all the pomp of the old timey southern swing and builds the core concept into cyborg that has tools to accomplish most any task. You could list the styles and influences on Moxie but you'd more than likely run out of ink and sound lazy again before you finished. The truth is that there is no genre that would adequately describe this record.

What will strike you first is how electrified these songs are. Synth, effected electric guitar, digital delays, samples and some interesting post production trick (here's a hint listen to this record through headphones) are completely new tricks that Daphne and the crew at Fuzzy Rainbow Productions have incorporated to propel her forward.

From what we have previously heard from Daphne, her writing style doesn't necessarily lend itself to using electronic elements but with a little studio alchemy there is cohesion and the formation of something new. When psyche and soul are blended she keeps the piano straddling lounge imagery she's used before without using the same style of music. The smoky basement vibe is pushed straight into your face making it more visceral and less like movie magic. There are songs, like "A Little Bit", and interludes, like the one in the middle of "Cheers, Darlin' ". that seem a little more like dream sequences than real life but this keeps Moxie from being mired in a seedy atmosphere that songs like "Whiskey and Sin" and "Sweet & Low Down" create.

The other side of that coin is Daphne's use of the old instruments and structures to create new imagery. "Molotov" is a familiar shuffle and features an impressive banjo solo but unlike the bright lights and honkytonks that may have come to mind before, they now seem to call for speeding trains through driving rain. Both of those scenarios may be metaphors for freedom or in the long run regret, they are completely different ways of expressing them and for the listener, feeling them.

Moxie is a such a huge step forward you'd think it would leave little room for Daphne to maneuver in the future but it's true beauty is that is opens up so many doors that there is no limit to the avenues she could pursue.



*Check out "Sweet and Low Down" on our music player on the main page!!



Catch the show:

Daphne will be celebrating the release of Moxie with a performance at this years "Hygienic Pre Fix", (the night before the annual Hygienic Art show), on Friday January 25th at The Oasis Pub. Opening the bill around 10pm are a special "duo" peformance of Sean Spellman and Thor Jensen from Quite Life and closing out the night around midnight will be M.T. Bearington; catch Daphne's set right in between around11pm! Doors are at 9pm, $5, 21+ Facebook Event Page - Wailingcity.com


Most people will probably call Moxie a "modernization" of Daphne Lee Martin's previous Raise the Rent material. I'm going to rebuke those people as lazy. Moxie is far too expansive to be written off with a single word like 'modernized'. Yes, it draws trace elements from what made the Raise the Rent material great, but it trims away all the pomp of the old timey southern swing and builds the core concept into cyborg that has tools to accomplish most any task. You could list the styles and influences on Moxie but you'd more than likely run out of ink and sound lazy again before you finished. The truth is that there is no genre that would adequately describe this record.

What will strike you first is how electrified these songs are. Synth, effected electric guitar, digital delays, samples and some interesting post production trick (here's a hint listen to this record through headphones) are completely new tricks that Daphne and the crew at Fuzzy Rainbow Productions have incorporated to propel her forward.

From what we have previously heard from Daphne, her writing style doesn't necessarily lend itself to using electronic elements but with a little studio alchemy there is cohesion and the formation of something new. When psyche and soul are blended she keeps the piano straddling lounge imagery she's used before without using the same style of music. The smoky basement vibe is pushed straight into your face making it more visceral and less like movie magic. There are songs, like "A Little Bit", and interludes, like the one in the middle of "Cheers, Darlin' ". that seem a little more like dream sequences than real life but this keeps Moxie from being mired in a seedy atmosphere that songs like "Whiskey and Sin" and "Sweet & Low Down" create.

The other side of that coin is Daphne's use of the old instruments and structures to create new imagery. "Molotov" is a familiar shuffle and features an impressive banjo solo but unlike the bright lights and honkytonks that may have come to mind before, they now seem to call for speeding trains through driving rain. Both of those scenarios may be metaphors for freedom or in the long run regret, they are completely different ways of expressing them and for the listener, feeling them.

Moxie is a such a huge step forward you'd think it would leave little room for Daphne to maneuver in the future but it's true beauty is that is opens up so many doors that there is no limit to the avenues she could pursue.



*Check out "Sweet and Low Down" on our music player on the main page!!



Catch the show:

Daphne will be celebrating the release of Moxie with a performance at this years "Hygienic Pre Fix", (the night before the annual Hygienic Art show), on Friday January 25th at The Oasis Pub. Opening the bill around 10pm are a special "duo" peformance of Sean Spellman and Thor Jensen from Quite Life and closing out the night around midnight will be M.T. Bearington; catch Daphne's set right in between around11pm! Doors are at 9pm, $5, 21+ Facebook Event Page - Wailingcity.com


Got a thirst for super high end experimental folk? Daphne Lee Martin has the tools to quench like you have never heard before. Matching remarkable production values with keen and clever words/compositions creates a masterpiece called "Moxie". The entire experience is seamless enjoyment, blissful and boastful, and unrelenting.



Now according to the release information "Moxie" is the first of two related concept records: Frost & Moxie, or ‘treat a queen like a whore and a whore like a queen’. Moxie opens with "Sweet and Low Down" which not only filled my room with deep sass but also illustrious instrumentation, some of which I can only imagine (for budgetary reasons) is sampled. This is a theme I continue to question throughout the recording: Are these instruments real? They sound exceptionally authentic, filled with attitude and performance quality. Bill Readey at Fuzzy Rainbow Productions has done an amazing job producing this album.




The release info describes 3rd track "Belly" as a "steamy summer jam" and while it is a steamy jam, I feel this song fits well in many contexts and locations. It is chill as hell, and while standing out from many of these recordings as being somewhat more reserved and less "showy" I think its quiet dignity speaks volumes about the characters in this elaborate and continually weaving story. "Belly" is my favorite track on this album, and it stands out as a smashing single. I dream a little fantasy where this song is on a split 7 inch with Fake Babies "Talk Like My Baby".

Another strong standout track in an album filled to the brim with swelling beauty is "Faithless Beauty" which not only showcases Daphne's unbelievably sultry vocals, but also that of Elison Jackson's Sam Perduta who offers a top notch fragile and fluttering vocal performance. I would go so far as to say his vocals are akin to Dave Longstreth in this song. Daphne doesn't give you a moment to forget it is her record, and keeps the smooth wonder of her voice flowing. Also, I have to comment again on the production values being so unrelentingly high with particular note to the the various brass instruments at play or being sampled. So appropriate and executed SO well.

This is just such a high calibur release for a local artist. It's hard to get past how expertly the whole sound was crafted and how cleverly the narrative is woven into the audible experience. Even as closer "A Little Bit" flaunts telephone style vocals, it still emerges as a wholesome high fidelity sound. This album, crossing time periods and genres can only best be described to outsiders as "folk" music, despite being so much more. Classy and classic, "Moxie" is a strong contender for best release of the year as well as best folk record ever released in Connecticut.

The applause at the end is a nice touch, and a sentiment I am certain countless listeners will reciprocate. - CT Indie


Got a thirst for super high end experimental folk? Daphne Lee Martin has the tools to quench like you have never heard before. Matching remarkable production values with keen and clever words/compositions creates a masterpiece called "Moxie". The entire experience is seamless enjoyment, blissful and boastful, and unrelenting.



Now according to the release information "Moxie" is the first of two related concept records: Frost & Moxie, or ‘treat a queen like a whore and a whore like a queen’. Moxie opens with "Sweet and Low Down" which not only filled my room with deep sass but also illustrious instrumentation, some of which I can only imagine (for budgetary reasons) is sampled. This is a theme I continue to question throughout the recording: Are these instruments real? They sound exceptionally authentic, filled with attitude and performance quality. Bill Readey at Fuzzy Rainbow Productions has done an amazing job producing this album.




The release info describes 3rd track "Belly" as a "steamy summer jam" and while it is a steamy jam, I feel this song fits well in many contexts and locations. It is chill as hell, and while standing out from many of these recordings as being somewhat more reserved and less "showy" I think its quiet dignity speaks volumes about the characters in this elaborate and continually weaving story. "Belly" is my favorite track on this album, and it stands out as a smashing single. I dream a little fantasy where this song is on a split 7 inch with Fake Babies "Talk Like My Baby".

Another strong standout track in an album filled to the brim with swelling beauty is "Faithless Beauty" which not only showcases Daphne's unbelievably sultry vocals, but also that of Elison Jackson's Sam Perduta who offers a top notch fragile and fluttering vocal performance. I would go so far as to say his vocals are akin to Dave Longstreth in this song. Daphne doesn't give you a moment to forget it is her record, and keeps the smooth wonder of her voice flowing. Also, I have to comment again on the production values being so unrelentingly high with particular note to the the various brass instruments at play or being sampled. So appropriate and executed SO well.

This is just such a high calibur release for a local artist. It's hard to get past how expertly the whole sound was crafted and how cleverly the narrative is woven into the audible experience. Even as closer "A Little Bit" flaunts telephone style vocals, it still emerges as a wholesome high fidelity sound. This album, crossing time periods and genres can only best be described to outsiders as "folk" music, despite being so much more. Classy and classic, "Moxie" is a strong contender for best release of the year as well as best folk record ever released in Connecticut.

The applause at the end is a nice touch, and a sentiment I am certain countless listeners will reciprocate. - CT Indie


What a joy is Daphne Lee Martin’s Moxie. This part one of a two-piece and has a street date of February 19th. This record is in the vein of Trickster Fox and Dinah Thorpe’s “12” that we reviewed a few months back with hints of Florence + the Machine. The sister EP Frost is soon to follow, until then take a listen to Daphne.


There is a haunting cabaret at the outset and that general theme continues throughout. “Sweet & Low Down” has a Dick Dale-like guitar melody swamped in reverb that adds a lot of depth in the mix. “Belly” also has some tasteful and fun guitar licks. Once the chorus hits the mix tightens up around the vocalist who is comfortable yet adventurous on the entire set of tunes. A few other stand out tunes include “Whiskey and Sin” and “Whispers” which has a nice dub backbeat and golden age of radio chorus backups to Daphne’s vocals. The songs venture in and out of styles while making frequent and atmospheric use of effects.


Moxie plays like a group of musically gifted gypsies picked up whatever instruments were closest when the red light brightened. The occasional presence of muted horn parts to transition is particularly nice. Producer Bill Readey of Fuzzy Rainbow Productions makes this recording shine. Guest appearances include John Panos of Mates of State and Eric Stevenson from Pocket Vinyl, among many others.
It’s a fun record hear, sounds like it was to make as well. This is the first major release of 2013 from Telegraph Recording Company though they also recently put out collections by Fake Babies and Bedroom Rehab Corporation. - Speakercone, Michael Finney


What a joy is Daphne Lee Martin’s Moxie. This part one of a two-piece and has a street date of February 19th. This record is in the vein of Trickster Fox and Dinah Thorpe’s “12” that we reviewed a few months back with hints of Florence + the Machine. The sister EP Frost is soon to follow, until then take a listen to Daphne.


There is a haunting cabaret at the outset and that general theme continues throughout. “Sweet & Low Down” has a Dick Dale-like guitar melody swamped in reverb that adds a lot of depth in the mix. “Belly” also has some tasteful and fun guitar licks. Once the chorus hits the mix tightens up around the vocalist who is comfortable yet adventurous on the entire set of tunes. A few other stand out tunes include “Whiskey and Sin” and “Whispers” which has a nice dub backbeat and golden age of radio chorus backups to Daphne’s vocals. The songs venture in and out of styles while making frequent and atmospheric use of effects.


Moxie plays like a group of musically gifted gypsies picked up whatever instruments were closest when the red light brightened. The occasional presence of muted horn parts to transition is particularly nice. Producer Bill Readey of Fuzzy Rainbow Productions makes this recording shine. Guest appearances include John Panos of Mates of State and Eric Stevenson from Pocket Vinyl, among many others.
It’s a fun record hear, sounds like it was to make as well. This is the first major release of 2013 from Telegraph Recording Company though they also recently put out collections by Fake Babies and Bedroom Rehab Corporation. - Speakercone, Michael Finney


Hit play on the widget above, and you’ll be hearing the latest full-length effort from Connecticut-based singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin. I was featured with Daphne on an episode of Where We Live recently, and that’s how I caught on to her latest release, and lemme tell you it’s a badly behaved set of tracks. There’s not much room on Moxie for composure or flying right. It’s a liquored up weekend whose hangover lasts well into the work week.

Look for this album on the Telegraph Recording Company, and enjoy! - The Needle Drop


Hit play on the widget above, and you’ll be hearing the latest full-length effort from Connecticut-based singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin. I was featured with Daphne on an episode of Where We Live recently, and that’s how I caught on to her latest release, and lemme tell you it’s a badly behaved set of tracks. There’s not much room on Moxie for composure or flying right. It’s a liquored up weekend whose hangover lasts well into the work week.

Look for this album on the Telegraph Recording Company, and enjoy! - The Needle Drop


Daphne Lee Martin gave listeners a 10-track live preview of her new release at The Outer Space Thursday night.

Martin performed with a 4 piece band, and though it was their first time playing out together the group conducted themselves with a fine-tuned swagger.


Daphne Lee Martin gave a sneak preview of her newest album ‘Moxie’ at The Outer Space on Thursday night. (Nick Caito)
Their new album, titled “Moxie,” isn’t slated for released on Telegraph Co. Records for another couple weeks, which was all the more reason to play its entirety for the intimate audience in Hamden.

It’s a vaudeville trip hop jaunt through dimly lit lounges and watering holes. Calling the sound alcohol-drenched would seem a little over done these days, though cocktails would be your ear’s beverage of choice. The Outer Space’s exquisite craft brews was a decent substitution.


Daphne Lee Martin at The Outer Space. (Nick Caito)
They were joined by Sam Perduta (of Elison Jackson) for guest vocals on the saucy ‘Faithless Beauty,’ and an eerie calm fell over the bar for Bill Readey’s haunting piano on ‘Cheers, Darlin.’

Acoustic folk country acts Suzie Brown and Jenee Halstead also performed. - Sound Check, Hartford Courant by Nick Caito


SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Daphne Lee Martin – Moxie (Telegraph Recording Co.) :: There ain’t nothing I like better than ringing in the new year by listening to a brand spanking new album that gives me renewed hope that all is well in Recordville—and, strangely believe it, this happens to be that album in that it lives up to its ballsy name and double dares ya to crank it up all the way up to maximum volume with your noodle wedged right between the speakers.

And if you’re of the opinion that I’d be a right fool to say that this one is already short-listed for my 2013 Top Ten list, then go ahead and slap that dunce cap on my noggin, ’cause it most certainly is. Y’see, not since the good old white label advance test pressing days have I been so blindfold flummoxed by an audio outing. That’s because, devoid of an album cover or track listing or anything else to guide me along except for a plain white sleeve and textless disc, I’m forced to do the free-association poetic stutter-step instead—something I ain’t done since I reviewed 801 Live and Low.

So just what the heck is this mutant offspring anywho and where the heck do I begin to get a greased handle on it? With track one’s melodramatic operetta that fuses Casio casino music with a spooktown carnival hoedown? Or mebbe track two’s sultry Peggy Lee meets the Doors feverish black coffee combo? Or how’s about track three that opens with a syncopated “Memo From Moxie” backbeat which then melodically fuses “Down By The River” with a brace of bubbly Telex synthpoptronics? Or with the Bennett-cum-Gurdjieff-ish voice overs of track four? Track five’s Hitchcockian country hoedown? Track six’s clandestine Tarantinish tryst? Track seven’s surreal dub confab? Track ten’s swanky vo-de-oh-do night club megaphonics?

And speaking of keeping track, you may have noticed that I’ve omitted two prime numbers; that’s because they’ve been left vacant for you to describe. To play along at home, all you need is a copy of Daphne Lee Martin’s versatile new album Moxie and two cranked up speakers for you to wedge your noodle between; your rejuvenated spirit will thank you for it in the morning—and remember kids: Neatness counts! - Blackout, by Jeffrey Morgan


by James Traubert December 24, 2012
Indeed there is little room for apology in these red light anthems. Through a thick layer of smoke and cynicism, Martin casts her world weary gaze across the wreckage of many a man, wasted night, and unfortunate situation.
Like her musical godfather Tom Waits, Daphne Lee Martin is no stranger to the somber. Many of these songs stagger along almost drunkenly, with weeping mellotron and moaning horns plotting the course. Somewhere between East St. Louis and New Orleans, this record finds its wearisome heart.
On several tracks it is easy to cite Martin’s influences. For instance, “Belly” is a trip-hop exercise just barely removed from 90’s giants Portishead. On many of these songs Martin’s voice and phrasing is reminiscent of said band’s vocalist Beth Gibbons, both in delivery and production.
However, I don’t want to imply that this record resigns itself to lazy hero worship. For instance, Portishead never rocked a gypsy groove like Martin’s band, Raise the Rent, does on “Molotov”. The banjo licks on this track are a particular pleasure.
The next selection, “Faithless Beauty”, sways with a slick boss nova groove, providing ample room for a male vocal counterpart and some smoldering Latin brass. The song’s masculine/feminine call and response highlights the pervasive emotional conflict within this recording. If Moxie is the unapologetic whore, then our titular harlot is not without her introspections and doubts. Certainly there is some breed of vulnerability beneath the steely eyes of our hard-bitten protagonist.
But let’s not read too much into the lyrics. To make another Tom Waits comparison, Daphne Lee Martin is very much an actress and performer. Sure, Waits tugs at your heart strings now and then. However, he’s always in control and most often telling a story. Martin works in the same vein. Also, like Waits, she experiments in an impressive variety of styles.
For me, the most musically surprising track on Moxie is “Whispers”. I wasn’t expecting dub on this record but here we have it! Thank God for those horns. Drums, heavily delayed, pair with surgical bass lines, torrid clarinet, and a sultry vocal to transform this cut into one of the unexpected winners of the album.
Oddly, Moxie ends with some sappily uplifting cocktail jazz. “A Little Bit”, could either be seen as a cute wink goodbye or a sleazy invitation to the next time around. The cheers and jeers heard at the end of the song reiterate the tongue and cheek nature of this album. Once again, Daphne Lee Martin plays her intentions close to the vest. This is not a confessional record. It is rather a showcase for Martin’s voice and the inspired musicians who frame it.
In summation, Moxie has a whole lot of style, confidence, and just the right amount of self-conscious smirk. Warm and inviting, it duly manifests its role as the hooker with a heart of gold. I don’t know what Frost has to offer, but I hope it’s just as hot as this.
- Fabricoh Magazine


by James Traubert December 24, 2012
Indeed there is little room for apology in these red light anthems. Through a thick layer of smoke and cynicism, Martin casts her world weary gaze across the wreckage of many a man, wasted night, and unfortunate situation.
Like her musical godfather Tom Waits, Daphne Lee Martin is no stranger to the somber. Many of these songs stagger along almost drunkenly, with weeping mellotron and moaning horns plotting the course. Somewhere between East St. Louis and New Orleans, this record finds its wearisome heart.
On several tracks it is easy to cite Martin’s influences. For instance, “Belly” is a trip-hop exercise just barely removed from 90’s giants Portishead. On many of these songs Martin’s voice and phrasing is reminiscent of said band’s vocalist Beth Gibbons, both in delivery and production.
However, I don’t want to imply that this record resigns itself to lazy hero worship. For instance, Portishead never rocked a gypsy groove like Martin’s band, Raise the Rent, does on “Molotov”. The banjo licks on this track are a particular pleasure.
The next selection, “Faithless Beauty”, sways with a slick boss nova groove, providing ample room for a male vocal counterpart and some smoldering Latin brass. The song’s masculine/feminine call and response highlights the pervasive emotional conflict within this recording. If Moxie is the unapologetic whore, then our titular harlot is not without her introspections and doubts. Certainly there is some breed of vulnerability beneath the steely eyes of our hard-bitten protagonist.
But let’s not read too much into the lyrics. To make another Tom Waits comparison, Daphne Lee Martin is very much an actress and performer. Sure, Waits tugs at your heart strings now and then. However, he’s always in control and most often telling a story. Martin works in the same vein. Also, like Waits, she experiments in an impressive variety of styles.
For me, the most musically surprising track on Moxie is “Whispers”. I wasn’t expecting dub on this record but here we have it! Thank God for those horns. Drums, heavily delayed, pair with surgical bass lines, torrid clarinet, and a sultry vocal to transform this cut into one of the unexpected winners of the album.
Oddly, Moxie ends with some sappily uplifting cocktail jazz. “A Little Bit”, could either be seen as a cute wink goodbye or a sleazy invitation to the next time around. The cheers and jeers heard at the end of the song reiterate the tongue and cheek nature of this album. Once again, Daphne Lee Martin plays her intentions close to the vest. This is not a confessional record. It is rather a showcase for Martin’s voice and the inspired musicians who frame it.
In summation, Moxie has a whole lot of style, confidence, and just the right amount of self-conscious smirk. Warm and inviting, it duly manifests its role as the hooker with a heart of gold. I don’t know what Frost has to offer, but I hope it’s just as hot as this.
- Fabricoh Magazine


Moxie, is at once cheeky, and full of verve and swing. Deftly mixing styles that don’t necessarily belong together, and ending up with with crazy good results, Martin slashes and burns her way through trip hop, northern soul, dub, klezmer, torch, tin pan and lounge styles, to name just a few. If there’s any justice in this universe, this record will be the one for Martin. - Examiner.com


Moxie, is at once cheeky, and full of verve and swing. Deftly mixing styles that don’t necessarily belong together, and ending up with with crazy good results, Martin slashes and burns her way through trip hop, northern soul, dub, klezmer, torch, tin pan and lounge styles, to name just a few. If there’s any justice in this universe, this record will be the one for Martin. - Examiner.com


“In a jazz-tinged voice ever-so-subtly reminiscent of Patsy Cline, Daphne Lee Martin displays her vast musical, and often geographical, journey throughout this collection of self authored material.” ~ Don Dimuccio - Don Dimuccio, Motif Magazine


“In a jazz-tinged voice ever-so-subtly reminiscent of Patsy Cline, Daphne Lee Martin displays her vast musical, and often geographical, journey throughout this collection of self authored material.” ~ Don Dimuccio - Don Dimuccio, Motif Magazine


“the music is a little dirty, a little dangerous but a hell of a good time.” ~ Chip McCabe - Chip McCabe, CT.com


“Martin’s evocative voice hovers playfully betwixt Patsy Cline and Dinah Washington.” ~ Rick Koster - Rick Koster, The Day


“With her strong writing style and sultry vocal delivery, Martin has you in the palm of her hand from track one…” ~ Troy Michael - Troy Michael, Innocent Words Magazine


“Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent, “Dig & Be Dug” (The Telegraph Recording Company). New London resident Martin digs vintage sounds on her debut, from dusty borderland meditations to hints of Dixieland and old-school country. She’s at her best on the torchy tunes, singing in sultry tones over blasts of Mariachi-style trumpet on “Old Guitar” and murmuring wistfully on the waltz-time “Saratoga Rain.”” ~Eric Danton, The Hartford Courant - Eric Danton, Hartford Courant


“Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent, “Dig & Be Dug” (The Telegraph Recording Company). New London resident Martin digs vintage sounds on her debut, from dusty borderland meditations to hints of Dixieland and old-school country. She’s at her best on the torchy tunes, singing in sultry tones over blasts of Mariachi-style trumpet on “Old Guitar” and murmuring wistfully on the waltz-time “Saratoga Rain.”” ~Eric Danton, The Hartford Courant - Eric Danton, Hartford Courant


“Let’s Stay In Bed All Day” is punchy, and equal to anything Dr. John might have conjured up in his voodoo lair. This horn-driven number has a classic standard feel which stays in your head for days.”~ Vincent Bator, Examiner.com - Vincent Bator, Examiner.com


"The musicianship on the record is awesome - the steady tight rhythm section of 'Brad Bensko' (bass) and Matt Gouette (drums) along with the fiddle and lead guitar work of Craig Edwards… you couldn’t hope for a better backdrop to lay your vocals on. The vocals are what most people are going to take away from this record and Daphne has really become known for her sultry cabaret vocal stylings. " Adam Wujtewicz, wailingcity.com
- WailingCity.com


"Featuring the sultry voice of 'Dame Calico, Daphne Lee Martin' — whose melodies and delivery would be at home in a ’30s Parisian café, a midnight set in a Nashville honky-tonk, or a blues juke in East Baton Rouge — 'Raise the Rent' are one of the area’s finest and most unique bands. But it’s not just Daphne. Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Craig Edwards, who’s fluidly adept in styles from sea chanteys to zydeco; drummer Matt Gouette, a fine pop songwriter in his own right; and bassist 'Brad Bensko' — across the board, this is a really intuitive unit." Rick Koster, The Day

- The Day


"Featuring the sultry voice of 'Dame Calico, Daphne Lee Martin' — whose melodies and delivery would be at home in a ’30s Parisian café, a midnight set in a Nashville honky-tonk, or a blues juke in East Baton Rouge — 'Raise the Rent' are one of the area’s finest and most unique bands. But it’s not just Daphne. Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Craig Edwards, who’s fluidly adept in styles from sea chanteys to zydeco; drummer Matt Gouette, a fine pop songwriter in his own right; and bassist 'Brad Bensko' — across the board, this is a really intuitive unit." Rick Koster, The Day

- The Day


My first impression was that Martin is simply the latest nuevo torch singer to wander along. I hadn't heard her earlier albums, something I have since rectified. Those albums gave a hint as to what Martin can really do, but this set really pulls it all together.


Daphne Lee Martin
Fall On Your Sword
(Telegraph Recording Company)
Pulling together by coming apart, of course. Martin infuses her music with as many different sounds and ideas as possible. She produced this album herself, and put her vocals front and center in both the arrangements and the mix. That's a smart idea; on an album this wildly diverse there should be a unifying element. Martin's voice is perfectly suited for that showcase.

As solid as her vocal work is, it is her songwriting and arranging that really shines. It's clear that these pieces were assembled in the studio, but the results are spangled glory. Each song is like a fruit basket tied up in the bow of her voice.

In other words, don't expect perfect coherence. Martin glories in a bit of chaos, and she's not above throwing a little funk into some 70s electric piano pop, sprinkling in some samples and then shooting the whole mess down a jazz hole.

Far from a hot mess, this bouillabaisse produces a perfect brio. Martin exposes her innermost thoughts while she tells tales (most of the songs are based on fables of one sort or another), and they wash over us in a most lovely way. A welcome sensory overload. - Aiding & Abetting


Discography

2015 Fall On Your Sword (Telegraph Recording Company)
2014 Frost (Telegraph Recording Company)
2013 Moxie (Telegraph Recording Company)
2011 Dig & Be Dug (Telegraph Recording Company)

Photos

Bio

Folksinger. Diverse, driven songwriter. Multi-instrumentalist. Producer. Independent businesswoman. Daphne Lee Martin has juggled multiple roles through her career, balancing a road warriors commitment to the road with a sound that blends the traditions of southern roots music with the sharp sensibilities of New England folk, indie rock, sophisticated soul, and all points in between.

On Scared Fearless, her fifth album of original material, she shines a light on her years logged as a touring musician. Tracking Martin’s progress across landscapes both physical and figurative, Scared Fearless is an autobiographical album about the lessons learned — as well as the love that’s both made and lost — during an adulthood spent onstage and on the road. Call it a travelogue, perhaps, with entries that tackle the emptiness of modern hook-up culture “Fuck Tinder, I”m Standing Right Here”, the artistic struggle “Young Man’s Game”, the slow death of a once-vital relationship “Some Fool”, and the unending battle between the call of the open highway and the lure of home “Songbirds”. There’s heartbreak, honesty, and humor. Throughout it all, Martin decorates the music with acoustic guitar, upright bass, piano, pedal steel, brushed percussion, violin, and other organic instruments, delivering her songs in a manner that’s as natural and nuanced as the songwriting itself.

Produced by Martin, Eric Lichter, and Jonah Tolchin, Scared Fearless was recorded in a traditional log cabin in the Connecticut mountains, within earshot of the Connecticut River. There, during a four-day tracking session at Dirt Floor Studios, Martin captured the album’s basic arrangements in a series of live performances, with help from musicians like Isaac Young, MorganEve Swain, Matt Slobogan, Jim Carpenter, Thor Jensen, Andrew Sovine, Kieran Ledwidge, Tall Tall Trees, and John Faraone. Although Martin had met most of those musicians in her adopted hometown of New London, Connecticut, she’d written Scared Fearless on the road, during the lengthy solo tours that kept her away from home throughout much of 2015 and early 2016. Those tours took her from coast to coast, where she played a dizzying string of listening rooms, bars, and house shows. Along the way, she pieced together her new album’s material in hotel rooms, sound checks, and the front seat of her car. Like Polaroids in a photo book, the songs wove together to create a story filled with candid details: estranged lovers laying together upon a cold bed; a car spilling gravel to the roadside as it speeds into the sun; a packed bag, waiting to be road-bound; a pillow slowly losing the scent of the one whose head once dented its surface. The album’s cover, created by John Torres, touches upon some of those images. matching them with pictures taken during Martin’s travels.

A lifelong musician whose previous albums have doubled down on her fictional storytelling chops, Martin turns the camera lens upon herself with Scared Fearless. This is the soundtrack to a life spent in the trenches, pulled into battle by one’s dedication to art, travel, and exploration. It’s an album shaped by mile markers, rear view mirrors, and wanderlust. And, like the highway that runs beneath Martin’s wheels, it points her toward a new horizon.


FALL ON YOUR SWORD (2015)

Fall On Your Sword is Daphne’s fourth full-length album, and the first to be produced by the songwriter herself. This collection of songs was written as a whole, threaded together with “stories we heard as children” encompassing memories of fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.

MOXIE (2012)

Moxie takes Daphne's beloved traditional southern roots sounds and runs them through megaphones, mellotron, a very old tube amp. a swamp and a dark alley or two. As always, the lyrics are fermented and distilled in a bathtub full of misfit Interbellum prose.

FROST (2013)

Frost is the second of twin records: Moxie & Frost. Where Moxie was the ‘hooker with the heart of gold’, Frost is decidedly the sweetheart you fall in love with the moment you meet. From the bellyfullofbutterflies of a first kiss in Night We Fell In Love to the sweet ache of long distance in I Still Want You and Five Points to the silly honesty that comes of being together through thick and thin in The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields) and Smile At Perfect Strangers, this record tells the other side of the story: In each of us is the capacity for sublime love, just as in each of us lives the desire for freefall into our own darkness.

Band Members