Album Review: Derek J Martin – Dreaming Out Loud

Derek J Martin 'Dreaming Out Loud' Artwork

Derek J Martin is a singer-songwriter from Saltcoats, North Ayrshire whose influences include the likes of Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Neil Young and David Bowie. He’s a very talented musician and today I’ll be reviewing some teaser tracks from his upcoming 10 track album called ‘Dreaming Out Loud’ which will be available later this year.

‘Calm Before the Storm’ opens with a smooth, melodic acoustic guitar that is the perfect counterpoint to Derek’s powerful voice, this song just grips you, and it’s layered really well and the percussive sections add that little extra something that pushes the track over the edge. My only complaint really is that I can’t stop listening to it.

‘Life in the Minor Key’ is a little grittier and darker even, but the message really resonates and you feel yourself connecting with the song and with Derek, add to that some awesome guitar sections and a building energy this song packs a wallop.

‘Superglue’ has an almost country vibe to it, something about the twang of the guitar and the pacing and rhythm make me think of country music, but whether that’s just me or not, it’s undeniable that this is another great track, its strongest element is definitely the vocals, Derek has a voice that manages highs and lows well, but finds a nice mellow middle ground where he can express himself perfectly. Also off the tracks I’ve heard so far I’ve liked the hook for this one the most, and I could so hear this coming on the radio in a few years time.

‘While I’m Away’ has a very atmospheric opening, the tune sways and the vocals have an echoey distortion, which fits really well with the theme of the track, it’s a nice song and it lets me do something I love to do, which is just sit back and let the song take over, this could be equally perfect to relax to or to help you feel something that little bit extra, it’d be great for a TV soundtrack as well.

‘Kindred Spirit’ has a little more energy than the last track, that one I felt was just for letting wash over you, whereas ‘Kindred’ kinda pushes you just a little, I found myself bobbing along with it, which makes typing a little more difficult but hey, i’m not complaining. This is a nice middle of the album track, its mellow but shows the everything that was good about the first half and the promise of tracks still to come.

‘Fleeting Mind’ is another heavier track, and it shakes things up going into the second half of the album, we also get to hear a slightly different edge to Derek’s voice, and like with ‘Superglue’ I loved the hook for this track, it has one of those chorus’s you just find yourself singing, and when it’s performed live everyone sings along to that bit. It’s all around a tight track, that shows a diversity in Derek’s style and has some amazing guitar sections.

‘Ghost Town’ slows things down again, and this track has some amazing vocals, I think off all the tracks on the album, I’ll remember this one the most, it’s not just catchy, it’s not just nice to listen to but it’s just one of those tracks that resonates with you. I think if I had to pick this would probably be my favourite on the album.

‘Dreaming Out Loud’ opens with a tight bassline, that flows through the track, changing and building at just the right times, and they back up some powerful vocals and well worked lyrics. I always expect that bit more from the title track on an EP or Album and this one certainly delivered.

‘Graffiti On the Wall’ opens with drums and is joined quickly by guitars, this track blazes forth, and you just kinda get caught up with it, a strong and emotive track that is great to shake things up as we approach the final track.

‘Nightingale’ closes off with a really sweet ballad, soft acoustic guitars supporting a lilting voice that really knocks it out of the park and cements this album as one to check out.

So that’s what I thought of Derek J Martin’s upcoming album ‘Dreaming Out Loud’ and you’ll be able to get your hands on that later this year, in the meantime make sure and keep up to date with Derek by following him on Facebook and Twitter.


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