Formed around a campfire in Hertfordshire back in 2008, Marthas & Arthurs are a folksy four-piece comprising of Matt Hart, Mary Douglas and brother and Sister Tom and Esther Ball. Sounding a little bit like early Belle & Sebastian and a little more like the Mamas & the Papas, their quirky retro sound and sweet-yet-shrewd lyrics have been winning over the music press for a good while now, with Q Magazine describing them as ‘swooning and sumptuous’ and the great Jarvis Cockers dubbing them ‘rather brilliant’.
Their musical tone is one of quiet understated-ness, unassuming and melodic, with superbly gentle and perfectly harmonised vocals. Their songs are playful and have a joyous quality, whilst simultaneously managing to be thought provoking and, in places, ever so slightly tinged with melancholy.
After making an EP or two available to download online, Marthas & Arthurs finally brought out their debut album “The Hit World of… Marthas & Arthurs” in April of this year. The final production stages were completed thanks to generous donations from fans, who managed to raise the £2000 required for the mixing and mastering of the record. Full of the band’s delightful (and fast-becoming trademark) tranquil-come-mischievousness, it was a long time coming for their growing fan-base (which numbers among it 6Music’s Lauren Laverne) and thoroughly worth the £6 price tag. Check it out for yourself via their band camp.