"There was lots going on, a complicated divorce, kids, life and then the pandemic..." - Martha Wainwright talks returning with her first new album in five years, Love Will Be Reborn
It's been a good while since we heard from Martha Wainwright, with her last album, Goodnight City, coming way back in 2016. But she's certainly been busy in the time in between,
She's gotten a lot busier, as well as raising her two sons, she's now a venue owner with Ursa, her space in Montreal which she opened in the spring of 2019. In addition to this, Wainwright also took on the task of running an art-focused day camp for kids.
She's also dealt with the fallout of divorce, parting ways with bassist and producer and husband of 10 years, Brad Albetta, and rebuilding her life in the aftermath.
All of this is explored on her new album, Love Will Be Reborn, and we spoke to her to find out all about how it came together...
It’s your first album for five years, was it the plan to have a bit of time away or has it just worked out like that?
"It just worked out that way. There was lots going on, a complicated divorce, opening a new business called Ursa, kids, life and then the pandemic. Lots to write about!"
How did you want this album to move on from what you've done in the past?
"It marks the end of something and a new beginning for me in many ways. It was a tough five years, but years that have taught me a lot and changed me. My songwriting adjusted to accommodate some of these changes. I’ve always been very honest in my songwriting, but these songs are even more honest, because I feel I know myself better."
You worked with Pierre Marchand, what did he give you as a producer?
"A lot. I needed to put this record in the hands of someone I trusted completely. I think that’s the main reason. I love the attention Pierre gives to the voice and also that he was very willing and able to work alone during the pandemic. It made it a lot easier."
You made the album in Montreal, did you always want to stay close to home to make the record?
"This is a record born out of Montreal. I’m tied to this place now more than ever because of my kids and Ursa, my music venue. It feels good to have roots somewhere."
What was the album like to make? Was it a fun LP? Intense?
"It was really fun to make because the musicians are really fun. We laughed a lot. The songs are quite intense and in contrast, there’s a lot of lightness around them with the instruments."
It's an 11-track record, how did you decide which tracks made the final cut?
"The final track is different as it’s in French and written on the piano. It made the most sense at the end. Although it’s not as hopeful as some of the other songs!"
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"Light after dark. Coming through something. Getting stronger and getting older."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right? And which came together most quickly?
"Some songs are there right away and others take more work. For me the song 'Being Right' took some work, but we got it there! By contrast, 'Report Card' was done in one take."
When did you decide that Love Will Be Reborn was the right fit for the album’s title?
"I don’t like choosing titles, but it seemed like the best title from the beginning."
How are your live plans shaping up? How’s the rest of 2021 looking?
"It’s getting busy. Tour in the UK in September and then the US and Canada in the fall."