Described as a fervent anthem for those who are lost or longing, singer/songwriter Christina Martin’s first single from her new album Impossible to Hold helps fill a void in her life.
Lungs are Burning is about “chasing the dream and the horror of living it” and about the brother she lost five years ago to an opioid overdose.
“There is a hole in my heart I can feel it whenever I hear someone else’s story (of addiction). When I think about my brother, when I think about what I know now and what I wish I knew back then, so I could have helped him, and just been a better sister,” she said in a telephone interview from her Nova Scotia home.
“I write a lot about reaching out now after my brother’s passing, reaching out to fill that void, stop hurting and make sense of this.”
That’s also the reason she has partnered with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on her Canadian tour dates, including Saturday’s show at the Dream Café which is also the CD release party.
“A couple of years after his death I was reading about the fentanyl overdose crisis in Canada and I think for me, like any trauma, you try to put it away in a box, just push it away,” said Martin.
“I woke up one morning thinking about this and wrote this song as a way of reaching out.”
This is the multi-award winning artist’s sixth studio album which she, and guitarist/producer and husband Dale Murray, recorded in 2016 after returning from their European and Canadian tour.
While she says finding a genre to slot her music into is “dangerous,” Martin added the closest would likely be roots, rock Americana.
Described as a powerful presence, and easily capable of audience involvement, the Nova Scotian has a “brightly sparkling voice and vivacious personality.”
“I want people to walk away feeling like the songs weren’t only personal to me but they can find something from it in their own life that they can relate to and inspires them and reminds them of something good,” said Martin. “Maybe just a feeling that they weren’t able to feel because they boxed up and put it away for awhile the song helps open that up for a brief moment and helps them feel and remember cope with something.”
This is her second time at the Dream Café but the first as a performer. She was here 2009 as young performer in search of work.
“Years ago I found out about the Dream Cafe from east coast artists and it had a reputation as a great listening room to play,” she recalled. “Then on one of my first Canadian tours we had a day off and I stopped into Penticton to see if I could meet somebody in person at the venue.
“I was still pretty fresh on the touring scene so I didn’t expect it would be easy to get a gig there, and it wasn’t, they have really high standards for great reason.”
So when she got back from the last trip to Europe the Dream was once again in her sights, and this time she got the gig.
“I’m really excited but I’m a little nervous because we’ve never played Penticton and I guess the concern is the dream of playing the Dream Café has come true,” said Martin.
The one thing she did take away from her first visit to the cafe was the inspiration for the song Sally which wound up on her 2012 album, Sleeping with a Stranger.
“I think it was an employee of the Dream Café that I was talking to and this song is a story about a woman who experienced trauma in a relationship and boxed it up and moved on but was getting into patterns in her life,” said Martin. “I’m sure there’s a little piece of me, of my mother and a definitely a lot of women in that song.
“I’ve always wanted to come to the Dream Café and play that song, and I’m excited to do that.”
Finally, about her Penticton show, she said: “I guess if you just strip it all away, it’s a night of listening to a singer/songwriter and her best friend Dale.”
Tickets can be purchased on the Dream Café website http://thedreamcafe.ca/upcoming-penticton-entertainment/#Oct2018 or her website, https://christinamartin.net/tour/