Musician, artist and filmmaker Seth Martin has just released a new music video for the title track of his forthcoming debut solo album, Saturday Morning Cartoons, on this fine Tuesday morning. Martin, who recently relocated to Nashville, shot the video himself in “Catfish Heaven,” a place out in Oglethorpe County where he lived and worked for two years after returning to Georgia from his most recent jaunt in Alaska. Like the footage included in the home video There is a Place that he released last year, the music video sequences natural details that catch his eye—blooming flowers, a sunbathing cat, drifting clouds—that allow the ordinary to shine as extraordinary, if you pause to take notice.
“I wrote it on a Saturday morning in the living room of a good buddy’s house,” says Martin. “All but one of the songs were written like that. A handful of us would get together over there every Friday night to cook supper, make a fire, talk stories, walk the woods, trade songs, do prank calls, make paintings, listen to records, go swimming, watch a movie, etc. for as long as we could stand it. Pretty much classic pandemic jams.”
“At the end of one of the nights someone threw on the Harmony Korine film kids. I’d never seen it. We got about half way through and it was leading up to a particularly brutal scene. I started to feel really hot and like my whole body was buzzing. I excused myself to the bathroom, got in there, and right when I looked in the mirror, I fainted into the shower. I came to with water spraying everywhere and my buddy pulling me out of the tub. He helped me get straightened up and let me crash on the couch. I got up the next morning and wrote that song within five minutes of being awake.”
To create his solo album, Martin assembled an all-star cast of favorite musicians to lend their talents. Martin’s previous band, The Georgia Dish Boys, had played a handful of shows with Nashville artist Justin Collins and his band Justin and the Cosmics. The two groups were excited to embark on a 48-show tour together out west and back, but when the pandemic squashed those dreams, they settled on the idea of making a record instead.
Justin suggested bringing on drummer Kyle Walsh, bassist Vaughan Lamb and slide guitarist Scott Collins, all of whom had played with the Cosmics before, which brought a special energy and comfortable familiarity to the sessions. The album was recorded and mixed by Jack Evan Johnson—who additionally contributes some guitar—at Devil’s Tower Records in Nashville, then mastered by Chris Byron in Athens. Nashville artist Chelsea Lovitt, who recently performed at the opening reception for Martin’s current art exhibition at Flicker, sings on one of the songs. The lineup also includes Rob Hibbs of the Hibbs Family Band, a longtime friend and musical collaborator.
“The biggest influence on the album was the people who played on it,” says Martin. “The friendships in the room. Those personal dynamics, along with the experience and creativity of each of the people. It really was fun to watch. This was essentially a gathering of heroes of mine who have become close friends over time. I caught myself in a state of ‘is this really happening?’ several times.”
Saturday Morning Cartoons will be released on Apr. 11. Stay tuned to Bandcamp!
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.