Billie Marten - 'Feeding Seahorses By Hand'

8/10

After delivering her debut album 'Writing Of Blues And Yellows' back in 2016, the then 16-year-old Billie Marten showed that she was more than just another guitar-wielding singer-songwriter. Despite her young age, she was able to channel an incredibly mature sound, delivering one of the more heartfelt and poignant debut releases of that year. And after three years away from the studio, she has returned wiser and even more proficient as she unveils her sophomore full-length 'Feeding Seahorses By Hand', a record that adds even more emphasis onto the frontwoman's poetic and tortured persona.

Much like her debut, this new LP sees her in a forlorn and emotive state, keeping the production as minimal as possible as she swoons and croons her way through a new collection of sombre and heartfelt new cuts. Taking some cues from the likes of Mac DeMarco and Ariel Pink this time around, we see her in more of a laid-back guise than before. Rather than project a simple guitar-plus-vocals aesthetic, we are treated to more in the way of background eccentricities, giving this return a slightly more psychedelic feel and adding yet more layers to the ever-evolving sound of Billie Marten.

While her writing remains very much in the vein of her debut, the general style of this record has moved on a lot, adding a more well-rounded feel to its overall sonic appeal. 'Feeding Seahorses By Hand' shows the now 19-year-old coming of age in a beautiful way, adopting a more diverse array of ideas and growing with her own direction.

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