photo: spencer starnes


“I thrive on the tension between the past and the future,” says singer/songwriter Gracie Martin.

“It's similar to my interest in capturing the acoustic/analogue warmth of 20th century artists I love

while producing it in context with the music that's been popular in my lifetime.”

While the Rochester-born Martin has one foot in the past and the other in the present, her music

comes across as a timeless blend of both—a stirring confluence of classic American music and

modern pop that’s brimming with sophistication and heart.

Unschooled until she was a teenager--unschooling is an iteration of homeschooling defined by

encouraging learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning—as a young girl Martin

was able to focus on creative disciplines like music, art and theatre. Along the way, she

discovered the music of Bob Dylan, Amy Winehouse and Joni Mitchell, and once she did, nothing was ever the same.

By the time she was 15, she had been studying classical voice, writing her own songs and

playing guitar for several years. An elegant blend of lush pop and fantasy folk, Martin’s

compositions are rich, dreamy and emotionally exact.

Her EP Unconscious announced her arrival back in 2017 and 2021 finds the musician at a

particularly creative moment in her life, despite facing many of the obstacles that 2020

introduced for musicians.


Martin has a new single on the way--the haze-y and hypnotic “Dreams

Die.” The song is an operatic, 60’s inspired ballad, dripping in nostalgia for adolescent longing.

As for the themes she keeps returning to, Martin is rather candid. “Sleep and dreams are a big

one,” she says. “I'm very interested in dreams, stories and tropes we convince ourselves of in

waking life as well as the power of the unconscious mind when we sleep. I’ve had dreams that

have helped me work through real life traumas as well as day dreams that have taken me

dangerously far away from reality. Sometimes I trust my sleeping mind more than my conscious


With a BFA in acting under her belt and as a former company member of Elliott Arrick’s Plant

Me Here interdisciplinary arts collective, Martin is a natural extrovert who has been known to

enjoy deep conversations with strangers. Her music is deeply influenced by her background in

theatre and as a result, her compositions are fully realized narratives that evince a true gift for

storytelling inside the framework of a pop song.

Martin admits her aim is, “To make songs feel like their own sonic worlds that can draw you in

like a play. Working with Plant Me Here was imperative in turning on my interest in music

production and coming at songwriting with an ear for sound design. Every time I sit down to

record a demo by myself or work with a co-producer to develop a track's sound, it's a world

building and storytelling exercise a lot like creating a piece of theatre.”

Even as she continues to quarantine far from the stages she is familiar with, Martin continues to

ignite her creativity at the border of fantasy and reality. Crafting dream worlds from the comfort

of her bed.


photo: jp calubaquib


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