Leaving the Circus
It took him 39 years before he finally got around to recording his first solo album. However, although the album - Leaving the circus - has a 2008 release date, some of the songs on the track list were actually written over fifteen years ago! \'I make no secret of the fact that it was Bruce Springsteen\'s songwriting on the Tunnel of Love album which was the trigger for some of these songs,\' says Martin. \'It really knocked me out when I first heard it. You could say that I was obsessed with that album for a while, and, purely as a songwriting exercise, wrote a collection of songs way back then which were inspired by Springsteen\'s story-telling style.\' \'Last year, when I decided to finally record my own album, I was amazed at just how good some of my old songs were after playing them through again for the first time in a decade,\' says Martin. \'Although I feel I have matured both as a performer and songwriter through the years, it became clear in a strange way that these almost-forgotten songs had to be the foundation on which to build my first solo album around.\' And so the album opens with \'Clowns\' and closes with \'Last glimpse of summer\', two of the songs which had for so long been buried inside Martin\'s drawer! Listening to \'Leaving the circus\' one is immediately struck by Martin\'s sincerity. Well- produced pop it might be, but the honesty and directness of the singer/songwriter genre is never far away. \'Leaving the circus\' is a bittersweet collection of songs that tell stories about love and loss (mostly loss it may seem). The lyrics are honest and straightforward, though sometimes with a cynical twist which probably hails from Martin\'s (one could say) unhealthy affection of British songwriters such as Paddy McAloon (Prefab Sprout) and Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera). The album\'s basic tracks were recorded in the space of just one week with producer/multi- instrumentalist Henrik Cederblom (Daniel Lemma, Sofia Karlsson, Freddie Wadling) on guitar, Andreas Levander (Christian Waltz, Eric Gadd) on bass and Per Svenner (Dusty Brown, Räfven) on drums. Martin plays acoustic guitar on most of the tracks, but also switches to piano for a couple of the songs. \'Believe it or not, the band hadn\'t even met one another before the recordings began, and the first time they got to hear the songs was right before we were to record them. And when you realise this, it\'s amazing that there\'re actually a couple of first-takes on the album! Henrik\'s idea was for me to do things the old-fashioned way: to sing and play at the same time, instead of adding the vocals later,\' says Martin. \'It was a bit of a challenge, but in the end it proved to be the right way to go. And just one of the satisfying results of this method has been the musical intimacy and spontaneity we managed to achieve with some of the songs.\' \'To record my own album has been a dream since I was 10 years old, and I can\'t begin to describe what a joy it has been to work on it. I\'m so glad that I finally found the cash and the confidence to do it. I just hope it won\'t be another 39 years 'til the next time....\' Leaving The Circus is due for release on November 5, 2008.