Singer-songwriter Kristen Martell takes listeners on a journey of fear, loss, acceptance, strength and defiance with her new album, Every Season.
Available now, we find out more about the recording in this Q&A.
This interview has been edited.
How do you describe your album Every Season?
This album ventures into orchestral folk/pop territory with soft vocals, lush soundscapes and invigorating percussion. It’s an evolution of my earlier sound, thanks to producer and acclaimed songwriter Gabrielle Papillon. The songs are moody, cinematic and anthem-like. You feel them deep in your bones. They take you on a journey of fear, loss, acceptance, strength and defiance.
Why did you choose Every Season as the album title?
The songs all share the theme of change: the challenges and the hidden benefits. I recorded the album in the fall of 2021 when I was feeling the internal shift in the changing seasons deeply. I always do this time of year. The line “Every season brings another view. Every shadow brings another truth” summed up perfectly how I was feeling at the time. So it felt fitting to run with it.
Watch Me Fall was not supposed to be on the album. It’s an older song of mine, written in 2019, but I felt compelled to record a simple version of it. This song speaks of letting old parts die to make room for the new, further cementing the ‘Every Season’ theme and title of the album. The song features Old Man Luedecke on banjo, sounding like raindrops on the forest floor.
What was the inspiration for the album? Is there a theme?
I suppose I was writing an album and didn’t know it yet!
When I decided to record an album, I chose songs from my catalogue that fit a similar theme. I had plenty of songs already written. It was during a time in my life when I was trying to find my place in it all. A time of immense change. My first album was all about coming home to oneself and finding peace. But if you’ve been away long, there are lots of renos to do to that home. I feel like Every Season is a continuation of my first record. It speaks to the strength and perseverance needed to repair old wounds and reminds us that with every change, every hardship, there is a new outlook. A new beginning. A new season.
What is your favourite song to perform off the album, and why?
Here No More. I love to play the guitar riff. It has a fun little swagger and sounds great on my classical guitar. The lyrics also hit home for folks. The song cuts right to the chase. We’re not here for long. Life is weird. Do something fun while you’re here.
What’s next for Kristen?
I have four album release shows across Nova Scotia. And I’m so pumped. I’ll be performing as a trio with Halifax’s country/pop songstress Brooklyn Blackmore and Nick Maclean. You can find tickets on my website.
I’m also going to be exploring writing french songs this winter. I’ve been teamed up with a French mentor thanks to FéCANE. I haven’t fully released the details yet but will when I have them. I feel a deep urge to explore my maternal language through song. The future of these songs is not known yet. For now, I’ll focus on writing and having fun.