London-based Irish-born songstress Linda Em presents her new single ‘Two Hands’ ahead of her ‘London Irish’ EP, to be released on September 21 via Talking Elephant Records. This new single comes on the trail of her blazing ‘Wild Fire’, a sultry earworm of an EP teaser.
This EP is the first step in a different direction for Linda, towards a more atmospheric and spacious sound and vocal performance. It is both poetic and storytelling while still being brutally honest and personal. Her pure and raw vocals beautifully convey a nostalgic lyrical narrative, her warm endearing vocals drawing the listener into her musical story telling.
The ‘London Irish’ EP was recorded, produced and mastered at Orphan Recording, Dublin by Gavin Glass (Paul Brady, John Grant, Lisa Hannigan, Mundy), who is also music director for John Carney’s film ‘Sing Street’). It was mixed by Scott Halliday (John Grant, Lisa Hannigan and previously guitar tech for Prince and James Vincent Mcmorrow).
‘Two Hands’ is about seeking a safe, quiet space in which to gather strength when the trials of your everyday life feel overwhelming. Linda Em co-wrote this song with Ian Montague.
Two Hands https://soundcloud.com/
Wild Fire https://soundcloud.com/
Order EP http://www.talkingelephant.co.
Order tickets for EP release show goo.gl/HR3g9b
All photos by John Dawson
“There was a particular point in my life where I felt very alone just been kicked out of college and my mum and brother were both in hospital. I was the main caregiver. I went into the church at the end of the road and sat asking for something (I didn’t know what). You light a candle and expect god to be at the end of the bed that very night. I used to search for churches in-between the madness” is me reflecting on those moments. When we cannot fix something, we always try to go to a higher place for help and as a young person whose family was not “normal”, I looked for that more often,” says Linda Em.
“As we grow and work on self, we realise that the higher powers we are seeking are not some greater godlike figure but something within ourselves, even if it’s just simple acceptance. That’s why the end of the song refers to that “bitter sweet surrender” of letting go and letting go of ego “humiliate me slowly” of being willingly open to vulnerability and letting go of pride. And also of being reborn spiritually “open me unholy again and again“, each able to become our own superhero.”
Originally from Waterford, Ireland, Linda’s family immigrated to London’s East End in the 1980s. A natural singer, songwriter and storyteller, her lyrical narrative is comparable to that of authors, poets and playwrights with a strong visual essence, stimulating the listener’s own imagination. Her music explores a wide array of themes from forgotten fateful stories and uncelebrated heroines of the past to her own personal and family experiences.
Linda first started singing blues and rock ’n’ roll in pubs and clubs in her early twenties before meeting Chris Wyatt, with whom she wrote and recorded her first album ‘Shadow Lands’ in 2015. Her sound has grown to adopt strong elements of Americana and folk noir with an ominous and atmospheric Celtic undercurrent to it and splashes of gospel and soul.
“As a lyricist I’m telling a story and, through working with producer Gavin Glass, I think the musical side reflects and illustrates that. Gavin has managed to give the songs and sound a strong cohesiveness even though the songs are all written with different people,” says Linda Em.
Linda draws an ethereal energy flow from her inspirations, citing numerous artists as influences, including Leonard Cohen, Edith Piaf, Nina Simone, Portishead, Hank Williams, Ennio Morricone and the poetry of Ted Hughes.
Linda Em produces music in an extraordinary mix of influences and genres, blending folk (revisited from a current London / Irish cultural perspective), pop rock, Celtic melody and American blues. Her music is timeless, filtering new compositions through the prism of her musical heritage to produce an overall modern day eclectic feel.
The ‘London Irish’ EP will be available through the regular online stores and streaming platforms as of September 21, 2018, and will also be available on CD from Talking Elephant Records.
Linda Em will be playing an EP launch show in London on September 26 at Water Rats (19:30 – 22:30, 328 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross) with a special guest – folk music legend Julie Felix – with support by Crayon Angels and JMK James. Tickets can be ordered at goo.gl/HR3g9b
1 Wild Fire
2 Two Hands
3 Little Lightmaker
4 White Horse
‘Wild Fire’ written by Linda Em / Eamon Gilmore
‘Two Hands’ written by Linda Em / Ian Montague
‘Little Lightmaker’ written by Linda Em / Linda Coogan Byrne
‘White Horse’ written by Linda Em / Chris Wyatt
All tracks mixed by Scott Halliday
Mastering by Gavin Glass at Orphan Recording Studios
‘Wild Fire’, ‘Little Lightmaker’ and ‘White Horse’ produced by Gavin Glass
Recorded at Orphan Recording Studios, Dublin
Bass and drums by Scott Halliday
Mandolin, acoustic and baritone guitars on ‘Little Lightmaker’ by Robin James Hurt
Backing Vocals on ‘Wild Fire’ & ‘Little Lightmaker’ by Teresa Connelly
All other instruments by Gavin Glass
‘Two Hands’ recorded by Rupert Gillett
Recorded at The Cabin Recording Studios, Walthamstow, London
Piano by Suzanne Ho
Opera vocal by Neeharika Gollapalli