Courting Strong

by Martha

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 11 Martha releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Love Keeps Kicking, Love Keeps Kicking (single), Heart is Healing, The Winter Fuel Allowance Ineligibility Blues, Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart, Split with Radiator Hospital, Split with Benny The Jet Rodriguez, Split with Spoonboy, and 3 more. , and , .

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  • Vinyl (UK version)
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    The third UK pressing of "Courting Strong" on heavyweight white vinyl.

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  • Vinyl (Damaged sleeve)
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    We've got a few copies of the LP where the sleeve got a bit damaged at the top, they're still wrapped and the discs are fine too - going cheap. UK only - sorry :)

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released May 26, 2014

All songs by Martha

Recorded by Matthew Johnson at Suburban Home Studios, Leeds, January 2014.
Mastered by Dave Williams at Eight Floors Above.

Additional Vocals on ‘Gin and Listerine’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘So Sad (So Sad)’ by Danny Gibbins.
Piano on ‘So Sad (So Sad)’ by Matthew Johnson.

We borrowed a bit from 'The Spirit of Radio' by Rush [Neil Peart/Geddy Lee/ Alex Lifeson] in 'Move to Durham and Never Leave'.

Thanks to MJ for recording this; Morag, Patxi and Prince for housing us; Mark, Bekah and David for driving us; Joseph Towns for photographing us;
Sean at Fortuna Pop (UK) and Marco at Salinas (USA) for releasing this.

Anarchy. Veganism. Irn Bru.


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Martha Durham, UK

Martha is a pop band from Durham city.


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Track Name: Cosmic Misery
Inverted pentagrams and crucifixes/Weirdos at the gates/Belief in ancient Gods whose rise from solemn slumber we await/Cities laid to waste, terror at the seas/Armageddon now, Cosmic Misery.

With the cover of darkness/We sought out the scene/There were leaves on the ground from the cold winter breeze/A habitual ritual/A tribute to the spirits of old/The fire was warm/Our hearts were cold/Alive, Alive

They asked me how I came to be like this/So lonesome and so strange/I scoffed and pulled my cloak around my fragile, teenage frame/I never had a chance, this world was never meant for me/I put my faith in outer space/Cosmic Misery.

With the cover of darkness we fled from the shrine/There was blood in the leaves from our dark sacrifice/A habitual ritual/A tribute to the spirits of old/The fire was warm/Our hearts were cold/Alive, Alive, Alive/I’m waiting for the evil to rise.

Alive, Alive/I’m waiting at the spot/I’m waiting for the evil to rise/Carve the ancient sign into my skin/I’m ready for it to begin.
Track Name: 1997, Passing in the Hallway
We met when we were seven/Now we’re both in year eleven and it scares me that
you act like it’s a joke/When they tell you off for smoking/It’s tearing me apart/So I just drew your name inside a heart.

Maureen/School is totally boring/These GCSEs really get to me/I long for your company/And I think it’s/high time/We took a walk by the riverside/We can sit near the daffodils/While we’ve got some time to kill/It’s true that I’ve been so anaemic/Since you broke my double-helix and my heart.

Well I might be a reject/But to tell the truth you’re scarier than a prefect/When we’re passing in the hallway/And you catch me looking your way/It’s certifiably verified/That I’m completely terrified by Maureen…

I know you’re in detention/But I promise that I’m worthy of your attention after school/There’s a park across the street/I’d really love it if you’d meet me/We can share some pop while we revise/See algebra in each other’s eyes/I promise you I’m worth the wait/This textbook’s barely annotated.
Track Name: Present, Tense
Yes, I’m here/And yes, as per, I feel weird/A terrifying worry in the back of my head/And it gets worse when you are near/It’s a subtle kind of tension/A permanent suspension/Every muscle in my body primed to snap/With nervous apprehension/Regretting the choices that we made.

You’re either living six months into the future/Or looking ten years into the past/You’re searching for answers/In tough circumstances/But I just need a moment that lasts/Give me something that lasts.

You lost your lucky purple lighter/On the Megabus to Brighton/But on the way you read a zine that made you think/You’d be a good Anarcho writer/But not even Voltairine de Cleyre/Could successfully get you there/Without a list of aspirations gushing out of your pen/As you stewed in that sticky chair/Regretting the choices that we made,

You’re wishing your life away/Or longing for bygone days/Oh would you give me a fucking break? Cause they won’t come back/
So give me something that lasts/You’re searching for answers in tough circumstances but I just need something that lasts/so give me something that lasts.
Track Name: Dust, Juice, Bones and Hair
The doctor put his hands around my neck/I’ve never been so close to choking on myself/He said “you need a rest”/like I need religion/my grandmother prays more me/Saint Bede went missing/I skipped P.E. for a year.

I’m mostly bones, I’m mostly liquid, I’m mostly air.

You bruise as easily as I do/I never saw myself undressed in front of you, but here we are/running through the symptoms/of my allergies and open wounds/stolen magazines from waiting rooms.
Track Name: Bubble in my Bloodstream
Someone caught a bullet in the underpass/And I heard rumours on the street about these freaky gangs/But this is monochromatic/No, I can’t stand it/They’re in the shadows/Lurking in the shadows/Yeah/So now I’m whispering a prayer.

This tepid hell/I know it well/It’s like a bubble in my bloodstream/Stem the flow and watch me swell/Yeah watch me swell.

It’s the bubble in my bloodstream/It’s the itch I can’t possibly scratch/It’s the congenital condition I’d hoped was in remission/That inevitably came back/It’s the bubble in my bloodstream, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Track Name: Move to Durham and Never Leave
Yeah, when the lights come on/And we all shuffle home/There’s an emptiness I feel when I’m alone/But I’m working hard and trying not to moan.

It is killing me to think that everyone will move away/I’m still here hanging on and adjusting everyday/It’s the inconsistency that just gets the best of me/It just gets the best of me/The inevitability/Am I the only one with nowhere else to be?

The DJ played a song that Pruney said he didn’t know/'Tom Sawyer' or 'Spirit of the Radio'/Passing on the Fish Tank steps/Not very courteous/Pruney could you tell me which night you're gonna be off work/It's been a week of hell, but you’re my favourite berk/It’s nights like these we’re benefitting from your honesty/yeah, your honesty.

It’s how I feel/When I’m alone/The lights came on/We shuffled home…
Track Name: Gin and Listerine
Fragments of a memory outlined for posterity/Tears and arguments/Something to do with a missing bag of diet pills and super glue/He waits outside the offy/Cause he doesn’t have ID/And as I recall this evening ends badly/Soaked in gin and Listerine/Are you still listening to me?

Vincenzio/It was a long time coming/But you should let him go/Let me know when you get here/Angelico was ever so severe.

Still figuring out what it means to be/Adolescents, indefinitely/Fresh but not clean/Here but not new/Queer but not gay/Young but not cool/Carnal sin at the midnight war/Then snuggling for warmth on the stable floor/We were zipping our sleeping bags together/We were whispering “Pity Me forever”/We were courting strong.

Vincenzio/It was a long time coming/But you should let him go/Let me know when you get here/Angelico was ever so severe/Vincenzio/I know it hurts right now/But these moments help us grow/I’m still here for you my dear/Angelico was ever so severe/Vincezio.
Track Name: Sleeping Beauty
Oh brother I would swap my Wendy House for your spud gun any day/Your clothes for my clothes, I can’t get mine dirty anyway, you see/Your football boots/My football knees/I hate the shoes they bought for me/Inside gets boring but when I showed I had an interest in Rugby/They laughed at me.

Oh sister I would love your Wendy House/But I’ll keep my spud gun for today/They don’t hear me either, I can’t get a word in edgeways, you see/My football boots/Your football knees/If you’re not too cool/Come play with me/Outside gets boring but when I asked if I could watch Sleeping Beauty/They laughed at me.

But it’s alright, when no grown ups are around/You can still be Daphne and I’ll be Fred
Track Name: 1967, I Miss You, I'm Lonely
I spent a dirty weekend practicing my French/Rosy cheeked I saw my limitations there in evidence/When I invited Frank and you, back to mine for a mange tout/When I meant ménage à trois/You laughed so hard you cracked your chin against the bar.

This statement might sound phoney/But I miss you/And I’m lonely/Distance stretches on and on and on.

Oh God how wonderful it is/Crossing bridges in the mist/Øresund across the Tejo/Behind on aggregate away/But Benfica still went through/And we still spent an afternoon/At the Gulbenkian museum/Sharing stories in the shade, oh what a day.

This statement might sound phoney/But I miss you/And I’m lonely/Distance stretches on and on and on/Although it gets frustrating/I really don’t mind waiting/Distance stretches on and on and on.

I look at you/And I am confident that I’d rather look at you/Than all the portraits in existence in the world/Except possibly O’Hara by Grace Hartigan/Or something else/I’m not a connoisseur/I’m monolingual, and absurd/And I know this statement might sound phoney/But I miss you/And I’m lonely/I miss you/I’m lonely/Distance stretches on and on and on.
Track Name: So Sad (So Sad)
Lambert never had much craic/But when I heard her say that you were back/I almost lost my balance there and then/I dreamed of all the hours we spent/Making plans, the best of friends/But did we all get what we wanted in the end? I guess that just depends.

New years eve hanging out on Palace Green/Everyone too pissed to count in unison it seemed/Midnight came without much fuss/You were all I needed then some busker sang a song about Milton Keynes/and shattered all our dreams.

And as we walked home and I told you how I sometimes feel ashamed/Of these laboured vowels and glottal stops/The way I say my name/But I can’t put my faith in/Received pronunciation/When your stories clutter corners of my brain/The sad little refrain/A feeling that remains.

I still remember you and the adventures that we had/And even at our worst we weren’t really all that bad/Nostalgia can be great from time to time/But to tell the truth I’m struggling today/Why’s it gotta feel so sad?

Same time next year/I’ll meet you here.

Please take me home/I think I might cry/I’m sad but I’ve no idea why…