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Newberg folksinger Joel Martin released his debut album, `Between Suns,' in early April

SUBMITTED PHOTO - GFU student Joel Martin's first album is titled 'Between Suns.'

Local singer and songwriter Joel Martin, a senior at George Fox University, released a full length album last week, titled "Between Suns."

Martin, who performs as Joel Martin from Toledo, said he's been working on his album since January 2017. He'd been writing some of the songs before he even planned on an album, and only started the full album after recording one song in Portland.

"We would meet whenever we could," he said, adding that while the songs started out more solo acoustic, eventually they "came out to be these pretty big band layered rock pieces. That was really exciting."

Martin described his style of music within the folk and indie rock range. He said some tracks on "Between Suns" are more in the singer-songwriter range, while others "get to be pretty hard core indie rock" songs.

"Theme wise, lyrically the album is really about almost everything I could think of," he said, "but it boiled down to the irreducibility of life. I think everything kind of rests in sort of a paradox. You have to accept things. Joy and sorrow, pain and happiness, they're all the same things."

Martin further described his record as spreading to a lot of different topics, explaining that there's political and ecological commentary, romance and love.

"It's basically the whole and the parts kind of thing," he said. "The whole of the society and the individual. That idea is extended to all facets of life."

His music is also inspired by folklore and literature, and includes references to those works such as Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

Martin regularly performs around Newberg, including shows at Coffee Cottage and Social Goods. He said he intends to promote the album with more local shows in the future, but doesn't have anything set up yet.

"But I would definitely like to be doing that soon," he said.

The 12-track album is Martin's first and is available for $10 online at He said CDs will be produced going forward, but for now "Between Suns is only available online.

He described the album as a collaborative project, as many people played on it, including his father and brother, who sang along on the song "Pantomimes."

Martin's not sure what he plans to do after graduation, other than continue playing music and promoting his album. He added that he'd love to have a career in music and likened finishing his album to completing his time at GFU.

"I've been working on this album for so long it sort of feels similar to getting my degree," he said. "It feels like this is almost as significant as graduation."

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Applications are now available for grand parade entries and for vendors for the annual Newberg Old Fashioned Festival. The event runs July 25-28, but applications are due well before. Returning vendors have until April 30 to apply and new vendors have until July 1.

Applications can be completed online at

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