Martha and The Muffins to start off the week. A slice of Canadian New Wave that are rumored to be still together, but with several incarnations of personnel changes over the years.
Starting off as a group of students from the Ontario School of Art, they initially were influenced by Punk, but quickly morphed into New Wave. Their biggest international hit has been Echo Beach, their second single, released around the time of this session, which was recorded during a UK tour and recorded for Richard Skinner at BBC Radio 1 on January 20, 1980.
Sadly, their only international hit was Echo Beach, but they had a string of hits in their native Canada throughout the 1980s and a few bubbling-under hits in the U.S. around that time. But towards the mid-80s, the band had a name change, to M+M and continued to have primarily Canadian hits (with a few more bubbling-under hits in the U.S.) – The name change lasted until 1987 when they switched back to Martha and The Muffins where they continued until 1992 when the band went on extended hiatus.
During that time, it was a series of side-projects for the band members before several reunions until 2003, when the band got together again for an extended period of time. And in 2010 released Delicate, their first album of original material in some 18 years.
Since then it’s been on-again/off-again, but with the band members going off in different directions – from producing other acts, to going solo. Lead singer Martha Ladly did moved to the UK where she had a brief solo stint as The Danse Society, releasing two critically well-received singles before moving on to other projects.
Since then 2013 there hasn’t been much word about Martha and The Muffins fueling speculation the hiatus may be permanent.
They may not sound familiar to you, or you may have missed them the first time around. An interesting band who wound up overlooked by the rest of the world, but successful in their own country.
Here’s a reminder of what they were sounding like early on, when the buzz regarding the band was high and they were on the radar for bigger things.