When I found that Martina Topley Bird was to preform at the Nh7 Weekender in Bangalore my heart skipped a beat. Ten minutes of tapping my screen and re opening windows in disbelief confirmed it and now I can hardly stop myself from doing the little girl squeal every so often.
One of the greatest Brit Pop Mavericks of her time, MTB introduced us to her suave, shadow ridden world on Tricky’s ‘Maxinquaye’. Her husky vocals pushing the boundaries of convention only to become one of the driving forces behind what we now know as down tempo. Post her split with Tricky we still see heavy influences throughout her career. You could probably think of her sound as combination of Trip Hop and Pop veering toward the likes of Elysian Fields and Massive Attack.
What interests me the most is the evolution of her music. Starting out with the luxurious, loop ridden days of Tricky and The Blue God her latest album: Some Place Simple is a clean vocal experiment of sorts. None of it however moves away from her intoxicating, almost ambient sound. Always shifting with the tide, her music will never grow old.
First up we have Razor Tongue from my favourite album The Blue God:
This second one shows her softer side. MTB sings Baby Blue for the Street Sessions: