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Linda Em with a New Album - Shadowlands

Linda Em is an Irish singer songwriter using a lyrical narrative that brings back the early days of Woodstock and The Old Grey Whistle Test. No surprise when she quotes Joan Baez, Carole King and the husky laments of Melanie Safka as her song writing influences. What‘s unique is the extraordinary mix of other influences that create Linda’s original sound.

Spending her early years in blues bands that introduced her to the rhythms of Bo Diddley and Ray Charles, coupled with the raw blues vocals of Besse Smith, Big Mamma Thornton and Etta James,
Linda trained initially as an actress & developed a love of story and narrative. Learning the monologues of Shakespeare’s leading lady’s for auditions and becoming intrigued by these strong women Shakespeare created and how they delivered their words, she observed that nothing is thrown away in Shakespeare. Add to this the dark grittiness in the words of Ireland’s playwright’s like Brian Friel as another influence on Linda’s lyrics.

Sunday TV western scores by Ennio Morricone that filled her mother’s East London maisonette also influenced the development of Linda’s musical psyche alongside early memories of 1950s, 60s & 70s vinyl compilations. Also Irish music on the home radiogram and hits from ‘16 Tonnes’, ‘Be Bop a Lula’, and ‘Starman’. Listening to Elvis, Dusty Springfield, Nina Simone and especially Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’ all add to the mix on how Linda drives a song. She adored the dramatic ‘wall of sound’ Burt Bacharach produced and now Linda incorporates all this into her sassy, smoky, soul arrangements of the 70s, with her ‘Bardic’ style of clear narrative which flows over these arrangements, like poetry with beautifully arranged soulful backing vocals.

Story telling is one of the most significant aspects of a song and Linda’s vocal is pure, raw with a contemporary edge that echoes the 80’s vibe of Kirsty Macoll and Natalie Merchant but also Edith Piaf and Jacque Brel. Linda’s clear, strong voice draws the listener to know how each ‘story’ ends. There's a bit of folk, a bit of rock, some Celtic, American blues and even a hint of Ska if you listen closely, with even a slight gypsy thread that drops in and out. The overall production of her songs get that 70s soul sound of a lead singer with a band that is so atmospheric, pulling you back to Woodstock.
Muse, Run Higher or Monday Night
- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

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