Ashley McBryde‘s current single, “Martha Divine,” is from her recent, Grammy-nominated Never Will album. The song is the second in a three-song trilogy of the devastating — but not quite deadly — impact of an affair gone wrong, after someone seeks revenge. The character was loosely based on someone her father once dated, making it also therapeutic for Ashley as well.
“I pictured her having Martha tied to a chair in like a garage or a shed, with a dirt floor, and her kind of pacing back and forth, holding a shovel,” Ashley tells Everything Nash. “And being like, ‘Okay, hang on. Thou shall not kill. Okay. But also, thou shall not commit adultery. So which one of these is more important? Honor thy father and thy mother and father. Oh Martha, it’s even in the Bible.’ God said ‘Thou shall not kill.’ That’s why she knocked her out with the shovel and buried her alive.”
Ashley knows the story is a bit dark, but it also allowed her to convey some emotions that she may not have otherwise been able to share.
“I was talking to somebody in another interview. I was talking about this character, and I got giddy about it,” Ashley recalls. “He was completely freaked out. I said, ‘Okay, so I showed my psychotic side a little bit, but it’s so much healthier to do it via song, because it’s not okay to commit violence on another person.’ I disliked that woman that my dad was with so much, it was really therapeutic to be able to write ‘Martha Divine,’ knowing that I had that character in my head.”
“Martha Divine” might have been a subliminal message to a woman she disliked, but it’s one her father likely never received.
“I don’t know if he’s even heard the song,” Ashley says. “I don’t think he really listens to music. Every once in a while he’ll text me and ask like, ‘Were you nominated for Grammy?’ He recently learned what that was. He lives under a rock, sort of.”
“Martha Divine” was preceded by “One Night Standards,” and will conclude with “Hang in There Girl,” which is expected to be released in 2021. Purchase Never Will at AshleyMcBryde.com.