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    Martin Howth

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    Martin Howth

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Watch // Listen

MARTIN HOWTH is the solo looping project of jazz vocalist Audra Mariel based in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. The music has been described as ethereal, even meditative, but also features catchy hooks and thoughtful lyrics. Using a loop station housed in a signature green suitcase, MARTIN HOWTH loops and layers vocals to weave harmonic and lyrical tapestries. All loops are generated live without the use of pre-recorded tracks nor digital effects, other than the looping effect itself; varied sound is achieved solely through using and exploring the voice as an instrument. Surrounded by several singles and collaborations, MARTIN HOWTH’s The Wayward Warbler debut EP was released in 2018, and now the expansive debut full-length Distant Dissonance arrives.

A collection of live takes recorded in various historic spaces, each song on Distant Dissonance was recorded in a different New Jersey location on either the Georgian Court University campus (the former Gould Estate) in Lakewood, or in the Historic Strauss Mansion Museum in Atlantic Highlands. Because MARTIN HOWTH is a project where vocals are always looped live in performance, recording live takes in unique spaces were an interesting way to create a record with the intent to achieve an authenticity that might be lost on a tracked studio recording. The album was recorded by MARTIN HOWTH and Alex Jackson and mixed and mastered by Michael Flannery (Jumping Giant), and the cover art features a collage by Corrine Henn with additional artwork by Daimon Santamaria.

A video for the song "Dear Dorine” was issued as a standalone single in October, and now sets up the release of the album. MARTIN HOWTH reveals, “This song was intended to be a letter to a young girl named Dorine whom I had never met and turned out to be written to a younger version of myself. It is the first single off Distant Dissonance, which is a collection of live takes of original songs, each recorded in a different historic space. I layer vocals live in performances, and decided this would be the best way to make an authentic sounding record. The music video was shot in and around the space where the song was recorded, at the ‘allegedly haunted’ Historic Strauss Mansion Museum in Atlantic Highlands, and the song itself was recorded on the first landing of the stairwell, which is visible in some of the scenes.”

"MARTIN HOWTH’s experimentation with looped vocals recorded live in diverse locations absolutely works wonders. Every song feels distinct and has its own unique personality, from the lush, soothing choir of voices that come together for closing track ‘Golden Mean’ to the spoken word ode to home ‘Magic House’, featuring the sounds of wind, insects, and a chatty cat. The lyricism throughout is thoughtful, and the slow build of every song all but assures that listeners open to the approach will be fully engrossed in the album front to back. It’s an airy album that feels plaintively honest, expertly crafted, and is just a joy to listen to." - Everything Is Noise