Music & clubs

On Our Radar: Gym Tonic and Meagre Martin

We take a closer look at Gym Tonic and Meagre Martin - two Berlin bands who are busy making waves (and seriously catchy tracks). Powered by Teufel.

Like its hometown Berlin, Teufel stands for openness, tolerance and diversity. For more than 40 years, Teufel’s audio systems have soundtracked life in Hauptstadt.

Berlin is blessed with a local music scene like none other, and right now, there are two particular bands we’ve got our eyes on. Meet synthy supergroup Gym Tonic and melancholic indie rockers Meagre Martin…

Gym Tonic

Photo: Victor Puigcerver
  • Hometown: Berlin
  • Genre: Synth-Punk
  • For fans of: DEVO, B-52s, Le Tigre
  • Stand-out tracks: Illegal Corpse, B12 Injection and Collision Frontale

If The Rocky Horror Picture Show were to commission a new live band, Gym Tonic would be it. With glamour, fancy dress and synth-pop galore, the four-member group are here to grab the baton from DEVO. The band’s members each also feature in other Berlin bands such as Skeleton Glove, Point no Point, 250cc and Dog Salon. Gym Tonic are something of a local supergroup, with costumes to match. Depending on the time of year, you’ll catch this theatrical electro troupe dressed up as scientists, flight attendants, Boy Scouts, and even glam astronauts.

Having just released their latest EP Sanitary Situations, a follow-up to their 2019 debut album Good Job, the band further their upbeat, post-punk sound with a new incarnation of lyrical angst. Songs such as Mononucleosis and Play Dead, along with previous hits Illegal Corpse and B12 Injection, show the band are dedicated to science and fun – and being totally absurd. Their infectious synth-pop krautrock has to be seen to be believed. Never fear: even though Gym Tonic are currently gallivanting around Europe on tour, they’ll soon be back home in Berlin whipping it up on stage. 

Meagre Martin

Photo: Andrea Rojas @___arojas___
  • Hometown: Berlin
  • Genre: Indie-Americana
  • For fans of: Albertine Sarges, Feist and Cat Power
  • Stand-out tracks: Please Clap and All My Thoughts

Wearing their hearts on their sleeves, this power-folk trio have mastered the art of transforming misery into something marvellous. Founded by Sarah Martin, who is originally from Boston, the lo-fi indie rockers have already generated international interest, with support from the likes of New York-based magazine Consequence and Texas music blog Gorilla Vs Bear. Their tender folk sounds evoke a little bit of Mac DeMarco, a little bit of Men I Trust, and a little bit of Fleetwood Mac.

Yes, there’s melancholy in Meagre Martin’s music, but there’s a little bit of optimism as well. The band followed up their first single All My Thoughts, a beautiful ballad dedicated to the tragedies and consequences related to attachments, with their more recent offering Please Clap. Mixing together lo-fi Americana and smooth folk charm, their newest hit deals with relatable feelings of inadequacy. Always finding new ways to channel cathartic narratives into finely composed, nostalgic ballads, the band have an inept style of creating delicate moments. With a new album entitled Gut Punch from Berlin label Mansions & Millions out now, there’s far more emotive, dreamful bliss to come from Meagre Martin.