Long-time Opus readers will know that I’m an unabashed Ronnie Martin fan. In light of his many projects, most notably the mighty Joy Electric, I have absolutely no problem calling Martin a musical genius. His brand of synth-pop, with its austere devotion to analog sounds, is a singular work, and when combined with his fantastical lyrics (which reference ghosts, Nikola Tesla, and antediluvian history as well as love and nostalgia) and fey vocals, is truly a style all its own.
Given that Martin hasn’t released any new music in several years — the last Joy Electric album was 2012’s Dwarf Mountain Alphabet and his Said Fantasy project has been silent since 2018 — new music from the guy is a big occasion here at Opus HQ. And “From the Womb of the Morning, the Dew of Your Youth Will Be Yours” (quite possibly the most Ronnie Martin-ish title ever) does not disappoint at all.
Although the song is unmistakably Ronnie Martin — his synthesizer sounds are impossible to confuse with anyone else’s — it’s immediately apparent from the get go that this isn’t a mere retread of previous sounds. The drum machine, for one, stands out, as do the synthwave-y textures and atmospherics. Age has clearly tempered Martin’s voice, too — it’s nowhere near as fey and breathy as it was in the Joy Electric years — but it’s aged well.
Put simply, I love this song. And it gets me a bit emotional, too. Ronnie Martin’s music brings back so many great memories (Joy Electric’s Cornerstone shows were must-see events), and I daresay that his music got me through some rough times. Furthermore, it was refreshing to hear a Christian making music so unique and idiosyncratic. While a lot of people might’ve scoffed at a man singing so effeminately in songs with titles like “The Electric Joy Toy Company,” “I Beam, You Beam,” and “Unicornucopia” — sadly, I’m sure many Christians dismissed Martin’s music as “too gay” or some such nonsense — it was revelatory to me that faithful and devoted Christians could express themselves in such a manner.
“From the Womb of the Morning, the Dew of Your Youth Will Be Yours” is now available from Velvet Blue Music and includes a remix from Golf Slang (aka, Luxury’s Jamie Bozeman) that adds some electric guitars into the mix. Suffice to say, it’s nice to have Ronnie Martin back, and hopefully, this single is a sign of even more new music to come.