Song of the Day: Martha – Goldman’s Detective Agency

photo by Steven Landles

photo by Steven Landles

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Goldman’s Detective Agency” by Martha from the 2016 album, Blisters in the Pit of My Heart, on Dirtnap Records.

Martha – Goldman’s Detective Agency (MP3)

Continuing in the tradition of bands named after names, but not the name of any band member (see: Whitney, Clem Snide, etc.), UK group Martha emerged from Pity Me in 2014. That’s not a typo – it’s actually the name of a village in Durham in the North East of England. But there’s no need to feel sorry for this power-pop foursome: their boisterous DIY sound attracted the attention of Billy Bragg, who personally invited them to play the Glastonbury Festival, and MJ of Hookworms, who produced their latest, Blisters in the Pit of My Heart.

In fact, it’s living in a small middle-of-nowhere town like Pity Me that surely ignited the band’s imagination. On today’s Song of the Day, they set their sites on famed 19th century anarchist Emma Goldman, reinventing her as a private eye. With strident, impassioned Superchunk-esque vocals, Martha brings a ’70s Cheap Trick power-pop style to their brightly boisterous punk sound. With a chorus of “Come on, Gumshoe / Be the one to help me out,” the energetic, playful track lures you into wanting to help solve the case.

Martha have a slew of tour dates in their native UK, but nothing in the States yet. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest, and check out the video below, a mini-film noir starring the band as they track down the kidnapper.

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