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Martha Wainwright

I WILL INTERNALIZE • Martha Wainwright

Seeing, or just listening to Martha Wainwright sing and play is a very primal experience. Whether she is whispering or wailing, she is coming at you with absolutely everything she is. It's like someone removes the screen between your essence and theirs and shines their light right in your eyes and fills your ears with a beautiful sound.

These Wainwrights--such genius, such freedom in the way they approach lyrics, and especially melody. I learn so much every time I listen to them, and more when I open up completely to the sound, when I surrender to the place where both Martha and Rufus are coming from. And they're very different places, for sure, but they have similar effects on my body and soul.

The other mastermind behind this outlandish record is Brad Albetta, a bass maestro and co-owner of Monkey Boy Studios in Tribeca, NYC, where much of this record went down. He has worked with a long list of greats, and co-produced the classic Willie Nile record, Beautiful Wreck of the World.

I Will Internalize is a dynamite 5-song EP. You can wait to buy it in the U.S., or be as impulsive about the W's as this listener and buy it from the lovely Canadians at Maple Music. The first and title song features the soaring quality of the artist's voice, the second she is shredding, cracking impeccably every third note, on "Baby." "Bring Back My Heart" is a big slow ballad that co-producer Albetta (with Martha and Rufus) and engineer Brian Fulk got a huge acoustic guitar sound on to support the vocals of Martha, Rufus, and their mellifluous cousin Lily Lanken. (You can also hear this trio on The McGarrigle Christmas Hour.)

My favorite is "New York, New York, New York." The near cacophonous contributions of Duke McVinnie's guitar canvases and Doug Weiselmans' bass clarinet blending with the rain and the traffic, served up on a cymbal tray by drummer George Javori, underpin the romance superbly. On the closer, in a beautiful song rendered and written by French chanson legend Barbara, Martha sings in French, passionately accompanied by her mother Kate McGarrigle on piano and Albetta on upright bass. This unbelievable cut was produced and recorded by Pierre Marchand at his barn in Quebec.

Buy this record if you're looking for the powerful undeniable essence of an artist who bares it all as soon as she looks in your direction and opens her beautiful mouth. You couldn't reduce this to background music if you turned it all the way down. There is simply too much juice going on. We think she's amazing.
• Frank Goodman

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