Martin Hoybye’s debut album ‘East of November’ came out in 2002 to kind reviews in the US and in Denmark where it was nominated for a Danish Music Award. Stream the album on Spotify or find it on iTunes. Physical CDs available second hand through Amazon.
Here’s a rather positive review from back then from Rikks Revues. (Scroll down for some Danish press):
“If I were reincarnated and was told to pick one singer-songwriter to come back as, I have no problem in saying I think it would be Martin Hoybye. What, you’ve never heard of him, well neither had I until recently. I really had no idea what to say about this man, but I knew I had to try just so I could introduce you to him if you weren’t familiar. Believe me when I tell you I cannot for the life of me imagine why this gifted individual is not a household name yet.
Martin Hoybye takes the art of songwriting and fine tunes it as a craft that he has taken to the limit. If you can imagine the heart of Dylan, the stories of Kristoferson, the bleak cynicism of Springsteen and the current sound of the likes of Shawn Mullins you would have a glimpse of what you will hear on this disk. Sound unbelievable, I would have said so too if I hadn’t been playing East Of November almost non-stop in my spare time since I had received it. A soulful presentation with intelligent and well crafted songs makes this CD everything I could have wanted to hear in an album, and it is all presented in one package. “Mercy” gives you the glimpse into Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge of Town era. You get the upbeat yet contemptuous flair of “Did We Build All This” and the thought stirring song of loss “Amber” that compares love to a bullet in the chamber of a gun.
There are 10 tracks on this disc that prove to me Martin Hoybye is a modern day troubadour with a passion not often felt running through each line and chord. An insightful look into the mind of a true music artist that takes complete control of the mind and plays it’s 10 acts out in a mental theater. You can feel the work that has gone into this craft. A musically superbly woven rug that delves into your mind and opens your ears to a complete musical experience.
Does he have the greatest voice, No, not in a traditional sense, but in the fact that I could not hear anyone else bringing justice to his work I would also have to say yes. Martin Hoybye is one craftsman that deserves to be heard, and everyone who hears the tracks will be able to instantly relate and enjoy. The one major flaw here is not a flaw really, just a wish. At just under 44 minutes for 10 songs, this compilation is completely too short a catalog from this gifted artist. Don’t miss the boat on this one!
“The disc opens up with the track “Amber” which pretty explicitly deals with the loss of someone dear, not to death, but by the choice to leave and move on. Just as the former CD, Martin also has a great knack when it comes to songwriting. It reminded me of a folksy Jeff Buckley mixed with a Dylan-esque aura that surrounds the songs from beginning to end. With all the traveling that this guy has done to promote himself, it makes me think of the simple image of a man with his guitar, singing songs, not for the money or fame, but for himself. The traveling bard, going places to spread his word to the masses … The disc has everything from beautiful ballads to quasi-rock rhythm songs. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this guy on the radio soon. I guess only time will tell.”
En speciel dansk debut-CD, der først blev udgivet i USA, men sangeren og sangskriveren Martin Høybye har også gået på High School i landet og bl.a. boet hos en ældre sangskriver.
Som han skriver i pressematerialet, er denne udgivelse en hyldest til hans forbilleder, Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen og Bob Dylan. Og det høres tydeligt. Det er lige før, at man kan rubricere hvert nummer under en af disse.
Desuden indeholder pladen en hyldest til den afdøde svenske sangskriver, Björn Afzelius.
Er det så et billigt plagiat, nej slet ikke. Høybyes hverdagspoesi fungerer perfekt sammen med den stemningsfulde musik. Det samspil har hovedproduceren, den yderst kompetente guitarist og erfarne indspilningsmand, Søren Jacobsen, uden tvivl haft en stor indflydelse på.
(Finn Smed Sahlholdt, https://jyllands-posten.dk/kultur/article4164766.ece)