Martin Høybye’s songs largely fall into the category of confessional songwriting, conveying authentic thoughts and feelings of a ‘life lived and lessons learned.’ The songsmith’s style has previously been described as that of Michael Stype meets Springsteen, and to the attentive listener the music of Tracy Chapman, Edie Brickell, and Chris Stapleton will likely also come to mind.
Martin Høybye has written and co-written songs for some 35 years, and since the beginning shared his time between Scandinavia and the US, recording and co-writing with other artists and ‘songcrafters.’
His debut album ‘East of November’ was released in 2002 to excellent reviews in the US, and in Denmark where it was nominated for a Danish Music Award.
Høybye has taught songwriting, released a book on the matter, and co-written songs with many established songwriters and artists. Collaborators on some of his previous releases include: Kevin Welch, Jeff Cohen, Wes Hutchinson, Lori Barth, Teitur, Chris Barron, and Pamela Oland.
In 2018 the singer/songwriter started doctoral work using songwriting as inquiry. A first output of this focused effort came out in 2019 –
the release of the songwriter’s 7th album ’The Hour Glass Sessions,’ a collection of songs where time is a trope running through all of the songwriting.
One of the points Martin wanted to make was that many of our perceived infinite resources are, in fact, finite:
‘We treat natural resources like water and air as carelessly as we tend to treat each other. In a sense, our lives are too short. We are not geared to understand the repercussions of our actions centuries or even just decades down the line. (…)” –
“As an artist I wonder, how do you write about the idea of the end of the world? What does that even mean? I realized that to me that meant something very personal yet universal. And in turn the bulk of these songs are about life and living, about family and what I would like to pass on,” he explained at the time.
He currently co-writes with people (non-artists) across the world investigating lived experiences of climate change.
In between his own releases he also devotes time to running the label Songcrafter Music along with business partner Roar Amundsen. Hence at the time of the release of ‘The Hourglass Sessions’ it had been three years since his latest and 6th studio album –
This album was ‘For the World’ (2016), and on it Høybye explored ‘run-and-gun’ recording sessions at Aabyroad Studio with producer Dennis Ahlgren, aiming to unlock the immediate potential of each song while letting it breathe, rather than trying to fit it into a mold or preconceived ideas about genre or form. This album was accompanied by the corresponding novel ‘For alt i verden.’ The playfully produced approach we hear on ‘For the World’ subsequently earned Høybye a Danish Music Award nomination for ‘Songwriter of the Year’.
Prior to ‘For the World’ Martin had taken a few years out to write said corresponding novel after a year of dual album releases:
‘Songtronica,’ an experimental songwriter-meets-electronica-project feat. Monsdrum, which came out in the spring of 2011, and in November of that same year came:
‘Night Like This’ which took its listeners on a tour of the new-country-landscapes Høybye had incorporated into his own “backyard” for some years, working with songwriters in the Nashville, New York and LA.
Before this, 2007 had been another year of dual album releases: ‘From Here To Heaven’ was his 2nd studio album and came out in the summer. And later that year Høybye released: ‘Building Memories,’ his 3rd studio effort, which was a collection of original Christmas songs.
– which brings us full circle to the beginning, namely 2002 and the 1st studio album ‘East of November’ as outlined above.
Please find tracks and more info about the individual releases here: http://martinhøybye.dk/music/