Ava Martina Ms Self Destructive review by Vince Leigh
Accomplished singer-songwriter AVA Martina heralds from the Northern Beaches of Sydney but currently resides in Canberra. AVA has recently released her debut EP, Peculiar Minds, and Ms Self Destructive is the lead track.
What’s immediately apparent from this foray into some pleasing blues country terrain is AVA’s lustrous voice. It slides over the guitar-based backing, effortlessly providing a series of pacifying melodies. This compelling combination conjures a noon sprawl in the back garden, the sun marinating the air.
What we have here lyric-wise is perhaps incongruous in this setting, referencing a self-defeatist state of mind that overstays its welcome. I guess that mental disposition is never really welcome; in some way, The Self is partly to blame.
AVA Martina – sad words, bright melodies
Said contradiction is certainly welcome here. Sad words with bright major based melodies—joyful declarations with dark, minor based melodies. This dichotomy typically works; the push and pull, the oscillating temperature, all converge and contrive to create a more nuanced creative device.
And AVA has that going on here. A laidback pace, an effective dynamism, lyric lines that fall on certain sweet spots of voice and melody.
This is enhanced by the gradational style of the accompanying instrumentation; neatly building, leisurely accommodating. The song’s centre, the chorus, manages to do a number on you. This steady, sustained charm is bolstered by a surprise. This comes in the form of an elevating second chord change that adds weight to that whole incongruity idea.
AVA’s performance is dreamily consistent, perched and pitched at a euphonious, semi-sanguine emotional level without ever straying.
The production bears mentioning too, with its discreet merging of acoustic elements with the machine kinds; persuasively used to conjure the track’s easy-going rhythm.
Ms Self Destructive reveals an artist who is perhaps not so self-destructive after all, with a charm that is almost irreproachable if it wasn’t so hopefully astute. The line that convinced me of this opens the second verse: ‘Can I keep my inner child alive?’
Indeed, it’s a valid question, wedded to an equally credible song.