Selina Martin

by Jeffrey Burns on January 11, 2012

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Selina Martin is Canada’s Indie-Rock version of a transformative, genre-bending, musical Tour De Force

One thing is certain when Canadian songstress Selina Martin takes the stage … she was born to be there. Musical artists exist in many forms, typically ranging somewhere in-between gifted musician and aspiring songwriter, but the defining attribute of our most memorable artists is the natural performer who effortlessly taps into and projects their creative spirit on to an audience.

When listening to Selina’s music or watching her perform, the mind can’t help but summon up images of a young girl performing on her parents’ coffee table, or show-stealing in the High School drama club, not in a pretentious way but as an infectious whirlwind of spontaneous energy, someone brimming with unbound talent and an uncontainable thirst for expression.

Her parameter punching musical substance and style can be compared to groundbreaking female songstresses whose art has transcended the usual Rock-Star / Pop-Diva template of popular music, icons such as England’s Kate Bush, Lene Lovitch, and Iceland’s Bjork. These unique women know instinctively how to transform their artistic passions into a musical Lifeforce, one that is genuine and innovative in its delivery. In the case of Selina Martin, she can well be described as Canada’s Indie-Rock version of a transformative, genre-bending, musical Tour De Force. These are people who go beyond simply projecting an artistic message when they perform … they become their art.

Selina Martin

She’s been lauded by many of this country’s music critics as one of Canada’s most under-rated musical artists, and her most recent album, 2010’s ‘Disaster Fantasies’ garnered the praise of Globe & Mail’s Robert Everett-Green as having the year’s best song, ‘Breathe In’. Her songs keenly capture and articulate an emotional dialogue that suggests a consistently personal connection in each case, resonating far beyond scope of contrived metaphors, and the structure of her songs often defy convention by coyly changing style, tempo and rythmn at any given point, as though raising the bar for the listener by channelling her improvisational chops and a restless songwriting vision that knows no bounds.

As an actress Selina was part of the innovative and impressionistic Toronto-based theatre company Bald Ego Theatre, and in 2012 she gets to flex her acting chops again in the Vancouver production ‘Do You Want What I Have Got? – A Craigslist Cantata’, from composer Veda Hille and the CBC’s Bill Richardson,which runs Jan 19 – Feb 11, 2012. For More Information Click Here!

I was late in discovering Selina Martin, and now I’m eagerly anticipating her next album, and perhaps even a cross-canada tour before then, but in the meantime I’ll continue to devour the songs from ‘Disaster Fantasies’ and ‘Life Drawing Without Instruction’ (my favorites: the rompin’ rocker No Form, the introspective ballad Always On my Mind, the groovy Next Big Thing, and the personalized Rush Cover Spirit Of The Radio).

The fact is, she’s still one of Canada’s best kept secrets, and as one reviewer for Mote magazine wrote, “Selina Martin kicks some serious ass”. There aren’t many performers like her, which is what’s so refreshing about this rising star on the horizon. I know I’m now a life-long fan, and I’m sure you will be too.

Rape During Wartime
‘Selina Martin Triage’ at Hugh’s Room, Toronto, November 2nd, 2011

Selina Martin’s FACEBOOK page, TWITTER feed, and WEBSITE


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