Martha Ffion – Sunday Best

Sunday Best is a confident debut chock-full of understated pleasures, one that hints Martha Ffion will only get better as her career progresses

Album Review by Chris Ogden | 05 Mar 2018
  • Martha Ffion – Sunday Best
Album title: Sunday Best
Artist: Martha Ffion
Label: Turnstile
Release date: 9 Mar

Glasgow-based Irish singer-songwriter Claire McKay, who goes by the stage name Martha Ffion, knows the importance of first impressions. Assisted by a full band her debut LP Sunday Best showcases her charming indie-pop songs with a real knack for wry, empathic storytelling.

From its opening cut, the moony – and ironic – ballad Missing You, Sunday Best is bright and brisk, dressing up songs from across McKay’s catalogue to date. Carefully curated yet never outstaying its welcome, Sunday Best’s songs hit the sweet spot between classic-influenced indie pop acts like Camera Obscura (Take Your Name), the surf music of Best Coast (Record Sleeves) and the folk heart of Rilo Kiley (Baltimore), all capped by McKay’s soft voice and rich harmonies.

Proving to be a thoughtful songwriter on Sunday Best, McKay has produced a concise, sympathetic collection of songs that explore how love makes our plans and best intentions go awry. Whether it’s the tumultuous relationships of Punch Drunk and Record Sleeves, the cautious affection of Take Your Name, or the racing nostalgia of Beach, McKay handles them all gracefully. The keystone of Sunday Best is the piano waltz We Make Do – its clicks and whistles make it playful but when McKay begs, ‘Just please, tell me I’m good,’ its anxiety truly hits home.

Boasting memorable songs front to back, Sunday Best is a confident debut chock-full of understated pleasures, one that hints Martha Ffion will only get better as her career progresses.

Listen to: Real Love, Take Your Name, We Make Do

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