Described by UK critics as â€œone of the most innovative of their eraâ€ and that â€œeven to this day they sound brave and freshâ€, Martha and the Muffins return on February 2nd with Delicate, their first new studio album in eighteen years on their own Muffin Music label. The album was five years in the making and mixed by David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, David Sylvian, Robert Fripp). The songs range from the horn-inflected â€œDriveâ€ and the anthemic groove of â€œMessâ€ to the perceptive â€œLifeâ€™s Too Short To Long For Something Elseâ€ and â€œLove Began With Eveâ€, a song that Daniel Lanois stated was â€œone of the most beautiful, original songs Iâ€™ve ever heard.â€
Martha and the Muffins emerged from the early punk/new wave/art pop scene in 1977 which was centered around various clubs along Toronto’s Queen Street West and the Ontario College of Art, where several members of the band were students. The band was the first Canadian band to sign to a UK label and recorded their first album, Metro Musicat The Manor Studio near Oxford, England. After â€œEcho Beachâ€ became a top ten single around the world in 1980 and earned them a Juno for Single of the Year, Martha and the Muffins toured extensively in Britain, Europe and North America. Since then, the band has released seven studio albums, three of which they co-produced with Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel). The songs they worked on together included the groundbreaking singles â€œWomen Around The World At Workâ€, â€œDanseparcâ€, â€œBlack Stations/White Stationsâ€, â€œCome Out And Danceâ€ â€œSwimmingâ€ and â€œCooling The Mediumâ€.
Martha Johnson and Mark Gane spent much of the ’90’s scoring music for various television and film projects. Over the past few years, EMI Canada has reissued several Martha and the Muffins albums on CD, including Metro Music, This Is The Ice Age and the CD compilation Then Again – A Retrospective.
â€œMaking Delicate was like a TV reality show: love, hate, sex, death and disease, it was all happening at once. If the music hadn’t been good, I would’ve been totally lost”, says Mark Gane. Summing up, Martha Johnson concludes, “Delicate is so personal I feel like my skin is transparent and I’ve invited the whole world into my head.”