Gabby Martin at The Lower Third, 17/04/24

The pop newcomer played a warm set in London and teased new projects

Gabby Martin has been hovering at the fringes of the indie pop scene for a couple of years now; a compelling songwriting talent for whom a breakout track seemed only a matter of time. New track ‘Cologne’, released just last month, appears to be it – the song has attracted a whole host of new listeners to Martin’s warm, jazz-tinged sound and has seen her pop up at multiple industry events, including this year’s Brit Awards. It’s also helped her to fill The Lower Third with a crowd who, if not fanatic yet, are hooked by her presence, powerful vocals, and conversational performance style. This is an artist very much at the beginning of her rise, but one for whom the journey upwards looks incredibly bright.

‘Cologne’ is an easy win of a song, a robustly constructed piece of confessional pop that lends itself well to Martin’s effortless vocal style and her way of talking with her hands as she sings. It goes down very well with the crowd at The Lower Third, as does her other Spotify hit, 2023’s ‘Pressure’, which closes out the setlist. But there’s much more to Martin than playlist-friendly indie pop – she introduces unreleased song ‘You’re Welcome To It’ as “my sexy, sultry song”, showing off big vocals, and gives us several intimately jazzy piano ballads (“I wrote this last week,” she says offhandedly, before launching into an excellent track about new beginnings). Another unreleased song is preluded by this command: “This is my dance track. So dance.” And we do. There’s also a superb cover of Nelly Furtado’s ‘Say It Right’, sung a little more Norah Jones.

The impression she leaves us with is probably exactly the one she intended to give – that Martin has a lot under her belt, if her audience sticks around to hear it. Whenever an extended project drops – because there’s no doubt that it will – there’s little fear of filler tracks. In her hour at The Lower Third, Martin has managed to play a full set of singles.  

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