Billie Marten @Hare and Hounds, 5 June 2019   

Billie Marten, real name Isabella Sophie Tweddle, has released critically acclaimed indie folk songs over the last few years that have wowed fans, a shocking beauty released from a young artist. Billie burst onto the indie scene in 2011, at only 12 years old, when she posted a cover on YouTube. She released her first single, “Ribbon”, in 2014 just before her fifteenth birthday, followed by the release of her debut EP with the same name. 

After releasing her second album, Feeding Seahorses by Hand, Billie came back to the UK after a tour in the USA. This time she’s not playing alone, as she admits that “it’s nice to have a band.” She’s accompanied by Jason, playing the keyboard and the guitar, who knew her since she was 12, a bassist she found on the internet and a drummer.Billie Marten’s sold out performance brought a different, more magical atmosphere to Hare and Hounds. During her first three songs of the set, Peach was projected in the background, a video Billie made over the summer to accompany her new album. Its country laced, melancholic vibes creates the perfect introduction to the night, matching Billie’s delicate jazz infused voice. 

The dreamy nature of ‘Mice’ starts the set. Billie sings with honesty about feeling empty inside and having no purpose, describing her struggles with mental health. Slowly churning drums and ethereal bass create a distant dream-like atmosphere.The energy takes an uplifting turn with the second song, ‘Blue Sea, Red Sea,” which seems to cover the ideas of struggling with the need to be independent and self-sufficient. Billie’s mysterious vocals ring in ‘Betsy,’ a politically inspired track written on a comical tone. Without having any specific politicians in mind, the lyrics accentuate that “Politics will mess with your head” and “This world is no man’s toy.” 
As she announces another political song, ‘Cartoon People’, she admits it being about Donald Trump from the perspective of his daughter and his way of running the country, the post-chorus subtlety covering her perspective of what is happening in America at the moment: “Hold me, it’s a crisis that we’re pulling towards/ Cartoon people fighting an American war. 

Reminding of her debut album “Writing of Blues and Yellows” Billie plays next the transcendent ‘Live,’ a song about the feeling that you must see new beautiful places in the world and living life to its fullest. She continues with an acoustic ballad ‘La Lune.’ As the night is getting quitter ‘Vanilla Baby’ stretches over the crowd. Trying to stop the laughs, she announces a very serious song, saying Let’s get sad again.” The crystal-clear delicacy of Billie’s voice brings dark undertones with the song ‘Cursive,’ describing a hopeless and fragile state of mind. She ends the set with the wholesome ‘Boxes’ in which she describes her feelings about society.

Billie Marten is a rising star with an angelic voice, her lyrics touching everyone’s soul. At Hare and Hounds she delivers a poignant, beautiful set that captured the emotional side of music. 


Set list 


Blue Sea, Red Sea 


Cartoon People 


La Lune 

She Dances 

Bad Apple 

Vanilla Baby 



Milk & Honey 



Review and Photographs: Andra Tudoran

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