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Martin Kerr


Martin Kerr narrates moments as if they’re happening in real-time. The UK-born and Canada-based singer-songwriter acutely focuses on the little things—the small details of his surroundings, the looks exchanged in passing, and the unspoken intention behind our words. He brings these nuances to the surface by superimposing unshakable singalongs over expressive folk instrumentation and inventive indie production. With millions of streams and thousands of shows under his belt, he magnetically pulls listeners into his embrace on the 2024 EP, After The Apocalypse [Nettwerk Music Group]. “When my kids ask me where I’m going, I say, ‘I’m going to sing for the people’,” he grins. “It doesn’t matter who the people are, where they come from, or why they’re there; I’m going to sing for them, connect, and give us something to share together. I’ve tried to put myself in these songs. It’s the rough with the smooth - warts and all. I’m a bundle of contradictions, so maybe the music is too, in a good way.” Martin has consistently shown more of himself with each subsequent gig and release. A string of unforgettable moments led up to this point. Beyond captivating crowds as a street performer in 35 countries, he’s shared the stage with everyone from Sarah McLachlan to Dermot Kennedy and Walk Off The Earth. He catapulted to the Top 10 of the Canadian Album Chart and #2 on the iTunes Canada Chart with his full-length debut, Better Than Brand New. Then “You’re Amazing” buzzed into the Top 5 of the Spotify Viral Chart. Even in the middle of lockdowns, he kept bringing music to the masses. He transformed an alley next to a fan’s apartment into a stage and soon delivered “Stay Home Street Concerts” at a prolific pace, performing 400 live shows during the pandemic. His embrace of another perspective gave rise to After The Apocalypse. “There’s a bit of a darker edge to the EP,” he admits. “Life in general feels like we’ve all been slugging it out for so long with no end in sight. The world we knew is falling apart around us, while we're just trying to figure out how to survive and hold on to some glint of hope.” This duality glimmers on the single “Moonlight.” Setting the scene, he paints a vivid picture, “The wallpaper is peeling, the bathroom faucet drips, and those curtains need some healing, but the moonlight makes its way through the rips.” Meanwhile, a delicately plucked guitar melody gives way to his fluttering high register as he asks, “Why are we worrying about all the shit that doesn’t matter?” “I was staying with some friends in this old house outside Nashville,” he recalls. “They kept talking about all of these things they needed to fix. I was like, ‘This place is amazing’. When you live in it, you notice all the things that are wrong though. It’s like that in relationships too. From the inside, you see the flaws in yourself, each other and the situation. But delving into the mystery of our souls and dreams is way more important than trying to fix the little things that bug us.” On “An Old Prayer,” soft strumming underlines his soulful delivery. The nostalgic whimsy dissolves into a stark plea, “Are we too far too repair?” Representing the other end of the spectrum, the title track “Curious Heart” pairs a bold vocal with upbeat rhythms. He takes a moment to remind, “We got love, and it’s always gonna be enough.” “The word ‘Curious’ means both ‘weird’ and ‘inquisitive’, he notes. “We almost didn't record this song at all - I hadn't shown it to anyone - but we had an hour left at the end of the studio day, so I just started playing it to the band. We tried recording it just for fun, and it turned out so much better than I'd imagined. Right after we finished it, we ate at a cafe round the corner from the studio, and discovered that it used to be a gift shop called ‘Curious Heart’. Made me feel like it was meant to be.” Then, there’s “Effortlessly.” His voice barely cracks a whisper over faint acoustic guitar, allowing his words to resonate. “I’m trying to be effortless,” he reveals. “I want to be like the stick floating down the stream or the birds singing their song. The birds don’t think about it; they just do it. Since the world won’t wait for me, I’m going to step into this and see what happens.” A bright soundscape belies the confessional heft of “If I Look A Little Tired Today.” He admits, “I don’t always like to acknowledge the darkness, because I recognize I’m pretty damn lucky. Simultaneously, I do feel a bit hopeless now and then, given what’s going on in the world. This isn’t the kind of future I imagined when we were kids.” His observations drive “I’m Sorry I’ve Got No Idea.” Plainspoken, yet poetic metaphors provoke emotion as he sings, “like a daisy in a sidewalk crack, we get stepped on and we grow right back. Like the prayer beads in a taxi-cab, we keep on swinging while the world goes mad.” “I like drawing on these images and seeing what emotions they incite,” he affirms. Against the hum of a distant arpeggio, “As Good As I Get” hinges on clear-cut conversational lyricism. Without holding back, he sighs, “I haven’t heard of all those bands you mentioned, sounds like just the thing I’d hate.” “I’m not really interested in anybody else’s definition of success, because I’m living my dream,” Martin states. “If this is as good as I get, I’m okay with it.” By hearing about Martin’s life with such clarity, you may just gain some understanding about your own. “When you listen to my songs, I hope you feel acceptance for yourself,” he leaves off. “There’s power in continuing to determinedly love yourself and one another despite all of our shortcomings and the chaos around us. I hope you sing along and feel like you’re not the only one.”

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