Marta Knight (Catalonia)

Marta Knight makes music for dreamers to listen to in their bedrooms. When the rest of the world is asleep, her nocturnal songs glow like neon signs, shine like beacons, and blink like satellites in the distance, giving loners, lovers, and insomniacs alike something to hold. Hers is a universe of late-night confessions–the moments when one is just as likely to fall in love as they are to stare at the ceiling, wondering exactly where their lives are going and where so many possibilities might lead.

Her debut album, Strange Times Forever (due June 3rd via La Castanya) is the sound of those feelings rendered in vivid detail and the arrival of an artist with a view and sound all her own. Obsessed with Britpop and American singer-songwriters like Tracy Chapman, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan, Knight began writing songs for guitar and voice in her teens, culminating in her debut EP, Peterloo Heroes, which she released in 2017.

In 2020, she found herself in a more reflective headspace, and soon found a new collection of songs taking shape. “I originally wanted to call the album ‘Patience’. It describes the way I made it. I want to do many, many things, but I also want to do them well,” she says of the process, which saw her songs bloom from arrangements for guitar and voice to something grander. Working with El Guincho collaborator and co-producer Pau Riutort, who has worked with Rosalía, FKA Twigs, and Bad Gyal, among others, as well as multi-instrumentalist Jordi Matas, Marta saw her songs become brighter and less introverted without compromising what makes her songs so unique. The record was also mastered by Heba Kadry (Slowdive, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Deerhunter, Beach House).

She describes “Creations,” her first advance single, as about the people and places that leave marks on us–the parties we don’t go to, the movies that make us rethink our place in the universe, and the songs we cry to on a shitty day. Her looped guitar serves as her anchor: “Can you believe there was a time they weren’t there / And they could’ve been just air?” she asks. “I don’t believe in death / Don’t even believe life has started yet,” she sings.

On the album’s title track, she finds herself struggling with writer’s block and trying to get unstuck in real-time. Like Springsteen on “Dancing in the Dark,” she writes a letter to herself, asks why the songs aren’t coming, and processes the moment for what it is:

Beers in front of my house
‘Cause strange times forever
Dancing on the way home
‘Cause strange times forever

Along the way, she returns to Oasis–one of her favorite bands from childhood. “When you’re really young and you hear something for the first time, you’re very easily impressed. You think about doing so many things. Then as you get older and try to do things, you realize all the hard work you have to do to achieve it. Now, I use that music when I need to feel again what I felt that made me do what I do now.”

Across Strange Times Forever, Marta channels her inspirations into instantly memorable hooks forever in service to her iridescent voice, signaling the arrival of a songwriter and storyteller with a worldview and perspective all her own.

Strange Times Forever will be released June 3, 2022 by La Castanya.

Friday May 6th, 2022 3:15 pmFri @ Hope Street Church
Friday May 6th, 2022 7:30 pmFri @ Ty Pawb Performance Space
  • “FOCUS Wales is a truly special event”

    BBC Radio Wales

  • CONNECT WITH US - #focuswales2023

    Stay connected with all things FOCUS Wales…