Marthas & Arthurs are back with a second album after a bit of time off to make some babies and other stuff. And on 'More International Hits', everyone's favourite two-girl/two-boy band carry on where they left off, with more harmony-drenched bitter-sweet gems.
For those new to the band, Marthas & Arthurs forged their vocal harmonies around a campfire in the Herefordshire woods, failing shambolically to sound like the Mamas & Papas, but in the process pulling off "the musical equivalent of a ramble through a forest in autumn: guitars crackle underfoot, accordions flutter, the four voices dance in the shadows cast by a sombre piano" - Guardian (First Sight).
After beginning their performing career playing to a passing dog-walker, they played at care homes in North London, the advantage being that audiences couldn't run away. Next they made a name for themselves with their Dinner Downloads, playing unplugged in people's houses in exchange for a meal and a drink or two, a story picked up by Brazilian national magazine Jornal Do Brasil and closer to home, the Evening Standard.
After dabbling in the world of conventional gigs, they supported Laura Marling and The Magic Numbers and regularly appeared at festivals like Green Man, Standon Calling and Lounge on the Farm. Each of the Marthas (Mary & Esther) and Arthurs (Esther's brother Tom, & Matt) take it in turn to sing lead, wowing new audiences with their heart-warming, not-really-folk music.
Their first release was a very limited edition 7 inch, painstakingly packaged in wicker and bird feathers, which doubled as a wall-hanging charm. This was followed by 'Apes in Aeroplanes' EP and their long-running residency 'Marthas & Arthurs Presents' at the Scolt Head in east London, in conjunction with Britain's most- famous spoon carver, Barn the Spoon (who sometimes carves onstage with the band, like a spoon-carving Bez).