Martha Tilston “The Tape”

Independent, 2021

Tilston records a soundtrack which works well as a standalone but is best enjoyed with its accompanying film to appreciate its beauty.

Martha Tilston is a quadruple threat – writing, acting, directing and making the soundtrack for her cinematic debut ‘The Tape‘.  Tilston’s film tells the tale of a singer songwriter who has relocated to Cornwall and records a tape which affects other characters into making changes in their lives when they listen to it.  The soundtrack for the film was recorded on piano on the set of the film while it was being produced.  Tilston has been creating music since 2000 in a band  (Mouse) and solo/with her own band since 2002.  She has a strong musical heritage (Steve Tilston is her father and the late Maggie Boyle -a folk musician was her stepmother) and has combined her love of music with filmmaking to make this love letter to Cornwall.

‘The Tape’ is a well crafted beautiful collection of songs which transport the listener to a contemplative space where they are able to explore their connection to others and the environment.  Tilston notes that she hopes that people feel moved when watching her film (and listening to the soundtrack) – “if they then go outside and sit with their back to a moss-drenched tree, stand on the rocks and shout at the sea, write that book, sing that song, kiss the person they love, it will have been worth it.”  Tilston’s return to Cornwall and making of this film is her ode to the natural world and our connection to it and the need to look after it.  The songs are hopeful tributes and the piano led music evokes an emotional response as the seemingly simple repeated motifs hook the listener in to the tale she is telling.

Tilston’s vocals are clear, honest and emotive and her lyrics are incisive and resonate on repeated listens. The music is based around piano with some additional violin and acoustic guitar drifting in and out allowing her vocals space to pull the listener in.  Tilston sings about the character wanting “to be the summer in your skin.  All you have to do is breathe out and breathe in.”  On ‘Bigger bridges’ she sings “ You are just a chapter in the story that will go on long long long after you.”  Tilston has created an album which deserves to be heard as widely as possible and the music will stay with you long after you first hear it.

7/10
7/10

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