Christina Martin clings to love in an emotional storm on her new single Stay With Me — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Pounding, titanic and tender all at once, Stay With Me — a preview of her upcoming eighth album Storm — came to the Canadian singer-songwriter in a pre-pandemic dream, she shares. “I saw a girl wander a cobblestone city-street, through thick fog and moonlit night, and heard a familiar melody and the line ‘stay with me.’ Unlike in dreams where I sometimes feel trapped in terrifying scenarios, with this song I found a space to purge my fears, and then coax myself to a better place.”
It should come as no surprise that a song this ethereal was born in a dream. After glimpsing fragments of it in her subconscious, Martin set to crafting the song into a finished piece, and it ended up as the cornerstone and trendsetter for the whole Storm album.
As suits its surreal origins, Stay With Me has a cinematic feel to it. All built around a timeless, theatrical piano and Martin’s spectral vocals, delicate as eggshells and yet soaring as an eagle, backed by drums that pound and burst like distant fireworks. Like much of the album to come, it’s impossible to ignore the luscious string section, which adds a grandiose, orchestral tone to the piece. Symphonic and succulent, Martin sweeps them up into a fervour. Yet her vocals rise masterfully above it all, like a lone ship cresting a great wave.
Stay With Me was one of the first songs recorded for Storm, and had a heavy influence on the soundscape of those that followed. Originally rendered in a more upbeat pop/rock style, it went through a radical rework to end up at the dreamier symphonic tone of the final piece. This saw Martin co-producing with long-term collaborator Dale Murray, and writing the string parts alongside Karen Graves. This collaborative approach to orchestral arrangements was new territory for Martin, weaponizing midi synths and loops in the composing process.
Stay With Me will be accompanied by a suitably dreamlike, dark and surreal video written and directed by Brendan Henry. Ahead of a series of upcoming East Coast tour dates, she’s hosting an exclusive 60-minute global premiere on Oct. 24. The event offers fans a behind-the-scenes look of the video, a chance for Q&A with her and the video director, and a new performance video of the song. Attendees need to pre-register for this event and have the option to ‘pay what they can’ to watch the video early, reducing any financial barrier to accessing an online experience during the pandemic.