It may be cliché to start a piece with the age of a young artist, but in this instance, there’s no better way than to go with it. Billie Marten is only 17 years old. While most people her age are still dreaming of becoming rock stars, Billie is writing earnest compositions and actually dealing with everything that comes along with being a rising star, but through it all she remains humble and in awe of what it is happening to her. What’s most striking about Writing of Blues and Yellows is not that someone so young can be so prolific; it’s that it makes those who are older and bordering on cynicism realise that someone her age can actually tenderly squeeze your heart to remind you we are human.

The album opens with ‘La Lune’; a somber guitar plays as Billie opens with, “Breaking my back in the heart the heart of this land.” Already with the first line, there is emotion, a story with conflict, all packaged in the rasped vocals of the young singer. ‘Bird’ is a somber piano ballad with lines like, “and the faint sounds of friends/ as she neared to the ends she had peace.” Even with heavy lyrics, there is still hope in everything she does. The more sonically upbeat, ‘Milk and Honey’ explores her peers’ yearning for material goods while she’s “just content with time well spent.” This isn’t necessarily a criticism though. Billie’s 'Milk & Honey' is poetry and music- something that has driven great people to madness in trying to attain - and Billie realises this.

“I have a lot of problems with mental health, and there’s some months where you’re not human and some months where you’re fine. I think too much. That’s my issue,” she has admitted. But on the other side of this, these struggles help forge songs like the beautiful ‘Teeth’, which was recorded on her family’s piano at their home, using blankets to dampen the sound and opening the back door to allow in the bird calls you can hear in the track. With honest, heart-spilling lines like “no one can hear what my head says,” she speaks to the misanthropes in everyday life; those that provide enough personal details to keep others happy while never truly expressing how they feel.

With all of this said, it is not my intention to scare you into thinking this album is heavy-handed. Yes, it pairs well with a hot tea and cold rain, but when listening to the nuances of Billie’s vocals, and actually listening to the lyrics, there is so much beauty to be found. In feeling it is reminiscent of Nick Drake (whom she cited as an influence in an email Q&A I did with her some time ago). There is a brokenness that is more complex than just wishing she would heal. It’s a matter of dealing and growing and understanding yourself and living your best life in-spite of inner demons. And young Billie Marten is proving that, even at the age of 17, she is charting territories and making music that will only aid her growth.