Martha make music for people just like them; earnest individuals who have a breadth of esoteric knowledge, an open-hearted worldview and a desperate need to figure out their love lives - even if it does just consistently deliver pain. Throughout their third album Love Keeps Kicking they circle back to the main idea held within that title: even if attempts at romance keep kicking the shit out of them, their love is still kicking inside of them, looking for another body to share it with.

Love Keeps Kicking is consistently rewarding in its returning to this dejection, as Martha’s songs are a safe space for anyone who anyone who wants to open up about their failures. They keep it fresh and lovably personal by injecting their songs with their own unabashed geekiness in diverse fields – referencing Maya Angelou and Rowdy Roddy Piper in the same line, making jokes about Isabelle Eberhardt, or describing mental states that don’t adhere to Euclidian geometry. It’s this perfect sincerity that makes Martha’s work so magnetic and chucklesome – not every band could write a chorus couplet of “I diluted you/ like ice in orange juice,” and make it so resonant and rousing that it is guaranteed to become a mammoth live sing along.

This is the other key element to Love Keeps Kicking; the dynamics of their indie-punk have never been sharper or more finely attuned to the spin of their forlornness. This is perfectly exemplified in ‘Into This’, which hovers on its crestfallen bridge “my heart flutters and it sinks/ because you only wanna kiss me when you’ve had a drink,” and then destroys any subtext with the colossal question “are you into this?” delivered with thunderous bravery. Every track on the album shows growth: ‘Mimi Was A Preteen Arsonist’ unspools like a hip-swaying indie-punk hoe down; ‘Brutalism By The River (Arrhythmia)’ plays out in two parts as their scrappy punk flattens into a cathartic anthemic outro; ‘The Void’ is the darkest song here but is a power-pop confection thanks to its dual vocals and excellent tension-and-release.

Title track ‘Love Keeps Kicking’ is perhaps the finest example of their expanded confidence, piling complex jokes and genuine emotion into the verses, ramping up to the simple but resonant chorus. Then, just as the song is at its peak, they reroute the energy into a truly head-spinning and hilariously hopeless break down – which explodes back into that winningly woeful chorus once more.

It’s not all doom and despondency on Love Keeps Kicking; ‘Wrestlemania VIII’ is a song of pure thankfulness for friendship, building to a startlingly moving explosion of its hook in the finale: “when we first met it felt like we’d been friends for so much longer.” Moreover, this is the feeling you are left with when you finish listening to Martha’s fantastic new record; it might be an album stuffed with sorrow, but the way it’s delivered, and the fact that it even has been admitted, is genuinely heartwarming. You can feel that these songs could only have come into being because of the genuine closeness of the band members, their feeling of complete trust in and love for one another allowing them to be open and honest without fear of embarrassment or judgement. Even more impressive: these songs are an open invitation to their fans to join them in this bubble of acceptance and honesty – and it’s undeniable.