Billie Marten has announced her fourth record Drop Cherries for release on 7 April via Fiction Records. Recorded entirely on tape in Somerset and Wales late last summer, Drop Cherries marks the very first time that Billie Marten has both written and co-produced (with Dom Monks) one of her records; following critically-lauded 2021 album Flora Fauna, Feeding Seahorses by Hand (2019) and Writing of Blues and Yellows (2016).
The new album’s lead single ‘This Is How We Move’ also arrives after premiering with Chris Hawkins on BBC 6 Music, with Marten explaining: “A song about finding the natural rhythm and pacing between two people. Working together and flowing as one – the relationship dance. John Martyn / JJ Cale ease of recording. Double bass Nick Pini. ‘You keep the garden, and I’ll take the view, this is how we move.’ Different wants and needs, catering for each other’s happiness. DESERVING TO BE LOVED.”
With a fourth record looming over her, Billie Marten at last learned to stop thinking about what others want to hear and finally started to trust her own instincts. “When I’m trying to write, the creative door is closed most of the time,” she says. “When it briefly opens, I know I’ve stumbled across moments of true emotion and insight; they give no warning and are often unpredictable. I can’t force the process, something I’m realising more with each album. And that’s why I know that Drop Cherries is a collection of songs expressing genuine intuitive feeling.”
The title is taken from a tale she heard from a friend just before she was starting to create songs for the album, and the title track came soon after. It’s a metaphor where the gift of cherries stands for offering someone your love; doing anything you can to make them happy. “Dropping cherries,” she begins, “is such a strong, visceral image that I tried to channel throughout recording in Somerset and Wales, to capture the vibrancy, unpredictability, and occasional chaos one experiences within a relationship.”
“Imagine stamping blood-red cherries onto a clean, cream carpet and tell me that’s not how love feels.”
Drop Cherries is a series of vignettes highlighting different pieces of a relationship, while trying to fit them together. From celebrating moments of the mundane (‘Just Us’), through deep existential questioning (‘Devil Swim’, ‘Acid Tooth’, ‘Arrows’), to the final resolve which is the pure simplicity of sharing a moment with someone you love (‘Drop Cherries’, ‘I Bend To Him’).
It’s often the case that each record has to be a new ‘statement’ for the artist, a re-branding, a progression. But Billie Marten’s statement is always the same: “I’m simply searching for clarity. I’m re-examining the same feelings I had when I first started writing: I feel different to others, so I’ll write about what that’s like and see if I can work out why that is.”
“If I ever do, maybe I’ll stop writing.”