Tuesday Music: Martha Wainwright

Martha Wainwright's self-titled CD.

As we have a plethora of really great music people here at NPR who are far hipper and better informed than I am (admittedly, not hard) and we want to feature new music on the blog, this week I turned to Robin Hilton, who produces All Songs Considered, to point us to something good. Definitely worth listening to.

I get around 400 CDs a week from labels and independent artists hoping we'll give them some coverage. It's overwhelming, but I listen to bits and pieces of everything. I read several music magazines, blogs and music newsletters and try to keep up with the latest releases. Even so, it's inevitable I'll miss something.

One album I completely missed when it came out last year was the self-titled debut release from Martha Wainwright, the sister of cabaret-pop singer Rufus Wainwright and daughter of folk artists Loudon Wainwright and Kate McGarrigle. While very talented people, I've never felt much of a connection with any of their music, so when Martha joined the fold with her own work, I didn't take much notice.

This spring, NPR Music and All Songs Considered webcast a live concert by Neko Case, with an opening performance by Martha Wainwright. It gave me an opportunity to revisit Martha's solo CD and I was stunned by what I heard. Her voice is so mournful; her melodies beautiful but sad; and her lyrics, inspired poetry. The instrumentation is spare, but warm and fully realized. The whole album is really a work of art; but the song that's been playing over and over in my head — the song that just broke my heart — is "Don't Forget" (audio).



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from