Billie Marten – “Heavy Weather” (Stereogum Premiere)
Forget what you know about 15-year-olds. “Heavy Weather” sounds like Billie Marten is holding a seance with Emily Brontë. It seems impossible that a teenager can summon towering, windswept emotions of a Wuthering Heights scale, but here we are. Using just an acoustic guitar and her voice, Marten pronounces each word with the precision of a single raindrop falling.
Yet as the phrases sweep together they have the effect of downpour, washing down in a continuous flow that gathers in pools and picks up intensity. Since Laura Marling began writing elegant, incisive songs at such a young age, she springs to mind as an immediate comparison. Marten’s voice is not as throaty and boisterous as Marling’s, lingering and spinning itself fine like a solitary shaft of sunlight.
“Who cares if we’re under thunder showers/ The rain is ours and we are lovers/ Of heavy weather,” she sings on the chorus, claiming the external downpour as an internal, intimate space.
Marten grew up in England — Ripon in North Yorkshire to be exact — and received her first guitar at the age of eight. She’s been performing since 12, and has a handful of songs on her SoundCloud. She also previously released “Ribbon” via Burberry’s curation program, and put out the four-song Ribbon EP last summer. But it’s still very much the beginning stages of her career. Today, “Heavy Weather” premiered in the UK via Huw Stephens’ BBC Radio 1 show, and we’re pleased to have the stateside exclusive stream. Listen below and watch for much, much more to come from this teenage prodigy.
“Heavy Weather” b/w “Out Of The Black (Royal Bloods Cover)” will be out 4/7 digitally and 5/25 on limited release vinyl via Chess Club Records.