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Scared Fearless

by Daphne Lee Martin

On Scared Fearless, her fifth album of original material, she shines a light on her years logged as a touring musician. A lifelong musician whose previous albums have doubled down on her fictional storytelling chops, Martin turns the camera lens upon herself with Scared Fearless. This is the soundtrack to a life spent in the trenches, pulled into battle by one’s dedication to art, travel, and exploration. It’s an album shaped by mile markers, rear view mirrors, and wanderlust. And, like the highway that runs beneath Martin’s wheels, it points her toward a new horizon.

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Fall On Your Sword

by Daphne Lee Martin

Fall On Your Sword is Daphne’s fourth full-length album, and the first to be produced by the songwriter herself. This collection of songs was written as a whole, threaded together with “stories we heard as children” encompassing memories of fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.

Where this album’s forebears Moxie, the “hooker with a heart of gold” and sister album Frost, the “sweetheart” were all variations on a woman’s approach to love and lust, Fall On Your Sword cuts into the meat of who we truly are on our very own. It is a journey into the dark places of our own personalities and desires, our limitations and fears, and inherent flaws. It demands that we confess, accept, and grow beyond those limitations.

Fall On Your Sword was recorded with 25 of the finest musicians Daphne has met on her extensive US tours. It is the most lush and expansive production in her catalog, with elements of hot jazz, indie folk, latin, opera, hip-hop, and cinematic pop. 

“Daphne Lee Martin’s music is lush and imaginative, her flourishing style exemplified on new track ‘I’d Take A Bullet For You.’ The song comes features a plethora of horns, jangly drum lines and even a spoken-word portion”

-Magnet Magazine

"Singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin, an Ohio native who now makes her home in Connecticut, returns this fall with her fourth full-length album, Fall On Your Sword, out October 2. Martin is an elusive songwriter, and her songs slink their way through the worlds of pop, R&B and avant-garde, often with edifying results. Listen below to “Eskimo Bro,” one of the standout tracks from the new album."

-American Songwriter

 

 

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Frost

by Daphne Lee Martin

Frost is the second of twin records: Moxie & Frost. Where Moxie was the ‘hooker with the heart of gold’, Frost is decidedly the sweetheart you fall in love with the moment you meet. From the bellyfullofbutterflies of a first kiss in Night We Fell In Love to the sweet ache of long distance in I Still Want You and Five Points to the silly honesty that comes of being together through thick and thin in The Book of Love (written by Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields) and Smile At Perfect Strangers, this record tells the other side of the story: In each of us is the capacity for sublime love, just as in each of us lives the desire for freefall into our own darkness.

Made by the same stellar team the produced Moxie and a cast of great session players from the vibrant Connecticut music scene, Frost incorporates both the acoustic roots sounds of Daphne’s Appalachian youth, as well as the hi-fi electronic sounds that her live band brings to the stage at night, setting it apart from the antiqued sounds of Moxie. 
Frost is accompanied by a unique photographic art book developed by Daphne with artist Pola Esther that explores women throughout history who have battled and embraced their ability to love and their sexuality in relation to their art and self expression surrounding the characters and myths on Moxie & Frost.

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Moxie

by Daphne Lee Martin
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Daytrotter

by Daphne Lee Martin

Live to tape at Daytrotter 

Fall On Your Sword Trailer

 

 Watch more videos

 

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DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, Scared Fearless

November 4, 2018

Jonathan Widran

When we start digging into Connecticut based singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin’s promo material, we realize that this genre bending we’ve been listening to throughout her consistently brilliant, compelling and heartrending new album Scared Fearless can’t, by design and her embrace of artistic freedom, be contained easily by typical attempts to categorize. While we listen to instrumentation that includes brooding electric guitar, wistful violin and a plucky banjo, we read that her vibe is a “unique blend of folk and blues,” and then we’re regaled with some cool regional accolades in the country and pop categories.

What all that means is that Daphne Lee Martin is that glorious artist who embodies the true spirit of indie music-making. She dares us to focus on the blend of hushed beauty and raw power of her voice, and the literate, hard hitting poetry of her lyrics, whatever musical setting they may find themselves couched in. The fact that this generous 13-track collection was written on the road, during a few of her lengthy solo tours, is perfectly in line with Martin’s shift from the fictional observational storytelling of many of her previous albums to a spirited, imperfect zig-zag flow expressing her own travel-weary stories of life lived and wisdom earned as a lifelong musician.

Martin’s rootsy, tasty, multi-subject travelogue has some eye-popping titles that demand attention over a simple track by track chronology. From the soul-rock rootsiness of “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down” to the plaintive simmering folk/blues driving “Till We Meet Again,” most of the stories she weaves from experience have a timeless quality that could be expressed at any point in time. Ditto one of the sweetest tunes, the graceful piano and Rhodes splashed note of encouragement “John Henry’s Lullaby.” Yet the title “Fuck Tinder, I’m Standing Right Here” is so in our face, in the modern zeitgeist, it screams to be heard first. What’s ironic is that the title is pure clickbait. The loping blues pop/rocker doesn’t have those harsh words anywhere in the song itself, a reminder to an ex flame that she’s still more real and of finer quality than a random chick he can meet on an app.

Another cool title-lyric fake out is “I Hope I Never Meet the Bitch Who Broke Your Heart,” which may lead us to expect a country barnburner. Instead we’re given pure searing balladry ruminating painfully over a lost musician love. The title is all false bravado. The song finds her more rational and vulnerable, as she sings “And who will be the one like me, who’ll take you home/I’ll take comfort in knowing I got nothing but the timing wrong.” Yet another provocative title that peels our initial attention is “Rainy Day Women #42,” an obvious wink to Bob Dylan via a slow burning song about the folly of engaging in vices and the ongoing temptations they present.

The dichotomy between title and lyric speaks of Martin’s keen ability to express raw emotion but with a wink that tells us that she’s not hurting as bad as she once was. She can find humor even in the pain – and that’s the happy result of living a life so fully and deeply that one can even be Scared Fearless.

 
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Daphne Lee Martin Shares Lyric Video For “Saint Ambrose Kills His Darlings”

Futility and frustration are a big theme on this album. Not the kind where you just give up on everything. The kind where you know that the ripples you create here and now may not be felt or make the world any better within your own lifetime. The kind of knowing that you need to realize that you’ll get maybe 10% back on what you put into many things. But not the kind where you can simply say “fuck it”. Not to be too Dorothy Parker about life, but it really is what you expect it to be, in the end. If you decide to create troubles, drama, scenes, you will live in hell long before you die. And we all, artists and students and factory workers and dentists and philosophers and menwomenchildren and folks going through grief of any kind or transition of any kind, all feel it sometimes. The human condition. How we handle ourselves when the heat comes up is entirely on us and it shows our true character.

 
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PREMIERE:“Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Head” Is Daphne Lee Martin’s Funky, Soulful New Single

Genre-bending is practically run of the mill these days, but have you ever heard an artist claim to run the gamut from “elements of hot jazz, indie folk, latin, opera, hip-hop, and cinematic pop”? Meet Daphne Lee Martin, the woman behind this ambitious catalogue of influences.

On her single “Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Head,” she sets out to show off her chops as a truly versatile lyricist and vocalist, even incorporating a rap verse by artist SuaveSki. Her sultry vocals blend jazz and soul, but the music is inflected with a funky, percussive groove.

 
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PREMIERE: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN “EVERYBODY’S GOTTA LEARN SOMETIME”

verybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime” has a rich history. Originally recorded by UK band, the Korgis in 1980, the track found chart success across Europe and the US. In the 90s a cover version by Yazz found success in the UK and in the 2000s a version by Zucchero & Vanessa Carlton charted in France. In the US, the most well known version might be Beck‘s cover which appeared on the soundtrack for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That version is what Daphne Lee Martin cites as the basis for her cover.

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Billy Copeland News

Daphne Lee Martin’s latest CD Scared Fearless takes the genre bending singer-songwriter-arranger deeper into Americana Roots music than she’s ever gone before. It’s another nice new twist for her audience that has been curious about what this Connecticut artist will come up with next. A worthwhile listening experience, Martin bares her soul while offering some of her finest artistic flourishes.

Daphne Lee Martin has done it again. She has masterfully flipped into another genre, being a more Americana artist on this very solid outing, leaving us all to ponder where she will go and what she will conjure on her next recorded work. Working with producers Eric Lichter and Jonah Tolchin along with musicians Isaac Young, MorganEve Swain, Matt Slobogan, Jim Carpenter, Thor Jensen, Andrew Sovine, Kieran Ledwidge, Tall Tall Trees, and John Faraone at Dirt Floor Studios in the Connecticut mountains, she has created an honest emotional document about her life as well as a bold artistic work. Bravo.

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