Review and Photos by Camille Germain
It might have been a small room, but it was packed. Billie Marten performed a sold-out show at Madame Lou’s in Seattle on June 9th. Hailing from North Yorkshire, England, Marten already has quite the fanbase in the United States. A room packed with teenage girls who were crammed to the stage (or sitting on it), filled with exuberant anticipation.
Olivia Kaplan could not have said it better when she said, "This is a night for feelings." With a short 35-minute set, Kaplan started off the night with an emotive singer-songwriter performance. A perfect combination for an opening act and headliner! She had the entire audience captivated and quiet throughout her entire set, except when they cheered and applauded between songs and anecdotes.
With a voice similar to that of an early Sheryl Crow, Kaplan delivered a more gentle touch, paired with on-point poignance. Kaplan sang with beautiful and excellent resonance, echoing throughout the silent room. She performed many of the songs off her 2021 album, Tonight Turns to Nothing. If you’re looking for a fantastic indie singer-songwriter to listen to, Olivia Kaplan is a must! She released her latest single, "American Air," in February 2023, and it is worth the listen.
Billie Marten is a mix of sad girl folk music and genuine vibrancy. She delighted her fans with hilarious banter and quippy remarks the moment she stepped onto the stage, igniting the silent room. With the lights dimmed and the room packed, Marten started her performance, and the crowd once again fell silent in awe.
Missing her drummer (who was away at his sister’s wedding), Billie Marten performed completely solo. This made her fans even more excited as they waved 'Will You Marry Me?' signs and watched her closely, barely a person moving from their spot. She responded to most questions and remarks excitedly squealed out by her fans between songs with a smile and clever remarks. Halfway through her set, a person entered the room, and she looked up and greeted them, "Hello! Welcome, where have you been?" This made her all the more likable.
Marten showcased her latest album, Drop Cherries (released April 7, 2023), but also included songs off of her older albums. Her fans were there for it and showed nothing but respect as they swayed with smiles on their faces. Marten’s voice is elegant and strong, and she delivered every note with perfection. If you listen to Billie Marten, you will fall in love. Her music holds power in every thoughtful chord and lyric.
The next time Billie Marten plays in Seattle, she will have outgrown smaller venues like Madame Lou’s. This sold-out show could have been doubled by her loyal fanbase in a slightly larger space. She is an artist to watch, and is growing more each day.