Martha and the Muffins - Save It For Later (The Confidence Emperors/Popguru): Here's a very cool combination: Toronto new wave faves covering a beloved tune by their English '80s peers, The English Beat.
It is actually rather a surprise to read in a label bio that group principals Martha Johnson and Mark Gane weren't previously familiar with the track. Gane explains that "While we knew and loved Mirror In The Bathroom by The Beat, we weren’t actually familiar with their song Save It For Later until our manager Graham Stairs suggested we pitch a cover version of it to the producers of [Netflix series] Sex Education who were looking for a new version to use in their third season trailer.
"We had a very short time to do it, but Martha was keen to try, and we recorded it in three days. The music supervisor loved it, but the whole idea was discarded by the producers, so the song wasn’t used at all. This left us with a pretty catchy version of the song without a home, so we suggested to Graham that maybe he should have all his artists on his roster do a cover of one of their favourite songs so we could put Save It For Later to good use! And so the Coverama cover album came about."
That collection of covers will be released via Popguru Sound & Vision's boutique label, The Confidence Emperors, on May 20. It features local artists, including Alex Exists, John Orpheus, Sam Casey, Ghost Caravan, TANDM, Chloe Kay Will Whitwham, Ghost Caravan, and Juliana Eye, and the Martha and the Muffins cover is a real highlight.
The catchy feel of the original remains, but Johnson's slightly husky vocals add a fresh twist. There are some cool retro keyboard figures, and Gane's production is crisp. A tune worthy of airplay, while the collage style of the video also appeals.
In 2021, Martha Johnson and Mark Gane delved into their extensive archives to select 12 rare singles, B-sides and unreleased tracks for the 2021 compilation Marthology: In And Outtakes, including the 30th-anniversary version of the group's signature classic Echo Beach, a tune with over 31M Spotify streams.
Coverama will be celebrated with a launch party on May 21 at The Drake Underground in Toronto, featuring John Orpheus, Alex Exists, Sam Casey, Ghost Caravan, TANDM, and Juliana Eye. Info and tickets here.
PR: Ola Mazucca, Indoor Recess
Management: Graham Stairs, Popguru