Martha Wainwright. Singer Songwriter.

a perspective

I definitely don’t have rules.  I’m pretty disorganised. In fact, I often have to guilt-trip myself into sitting down to write.

It is so easy to let your life get filled up with other stuff; cooking, cleaning, going to the bank, looking after your baby. These everyday things do come through in my songwriting, though. 

Most of my songs are defined by a sense of loneliness, of isolation, that I probably get from spending a lot of time on my own. The little images that I get from sitting alone in my apartment–the way the light is falling through the window, the man I just saw walk by on the other side of the street–find their way into snatches of lyrics.

I write in short spurts, for five, ten, 15 minutes, then I pace around the room, or go and get a snack.

When I first moved to New York some years ago, I used to go to concerts every night. I would see six or seven musicians a week. 

Now that I’m a songwriter myself, I find watching other musicians can be frustrating, ‘I want to be the one up-there performing’. But every so often I see someone who inspires me to try something different. That happened with Sufjan Stevens. I saw him perform in Prospect Park, and his sound was so huge and poppy that I went home thinking, ‘I should really try something like that.’