As back stories go, the one that accompanied Lindsay Munroe’s new EP, Our Heaviness, is an unquestionably fascinating one. The record was written at period where the London-born, now Manchester-based songwriter was in the process of, “of deconstructing a life and building it back from new foundations”. It comes from a period where Lindsay left her conservative religious environment and a long-term relationship behind, and started life anew. The result is a collection of songs that has drawn praise from every corner, from The Line Of Best Fit to Sharon Van Etten.
Our Heaviness, released last week, takes its name from a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, Lindsay particularly captivated by the final stanza, “this what the things can teach us to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before she can fly”. For all the specific circumstances that left an indelible mark on Lindsay’s songwriting, ultimately this is a record about the self, about finding the strength within to be your truest self and to revel in the freedom of self-discovery. Musically, it is a versatile collection, it’s five tracks taking in everything from the wistful Sinead O’Connor-like minimalism of River to the raw power of Split, with its swooping vocals and stripped-bare electric guitars. Perhaps the highlight is the closing track, Mirror, a reflection on body-image and societal pressures; Lindsay’s poised howl of a vocal set to clattering percussion and strutting, deliciously angry guitar lines. Our Heaviness is a record that feels like a real statement of intent, an introduction to an artist with the self-confidence, talent and songwriting to be a star; with a bit of luck, for Lindsay Munroe the sky is the limit.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Lindsay Munroe?
I’m a London-born, Manchester-residing musician who plays alt-indie songs that tend to explore identity, acceptance and love. My EP ‘Our Heaviness’ is out June 19th. When I’m not playing music I am probably studying, cooking or trying to learn the dance routines from all of HAIM’s music videos.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
It’s hard to remember a particular first show. I played so many open mics before playing a ‘show’. They were great for gaining confidence and making mistakes without high pressure. My first show for a promoter was a slot at The Soup Kitchen, opening for Matthew and the Atlas. It was an amazing opportunity for a ‘first show’; great bands, sold out venue. I was so intimidated; it was three songs into my set before I stopped shaking. I got a nice review from a local blogger and it really made all my sweaty-palmed nerves feel worth it.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
My mum tells me that I used to wake up as a baby/toddler and just sing to myself until one of my parents came to get me. So music has always been a part of my day to day life. I like the accessibility of music; even without mastery of an instrument you can still make beautiful or weird sounds and create something new. I love literature and poetry, but the idea of creating using only words is so bare compared to building lyrics in song. It’s a completely different skill and I’m in awe of it.
FTR: What can people expect from the Lindsay Munroe live show?
When it comes down to it my band and I are just a bunch of dorks who love playing music together. So you can expect a group of friends grateful that you’re there and watching and joining in. My music is deeply personal so the shows can be heavy hitting on the emotional side. I imagine that whenever we are allowed to gig again after this lockdown there may be a few tears and a lot of dancing.
FTR: What’s next for Lindsay Munroe?
My debut EP came ‘Our Heaviness’ out on June 19th. Our headline shows have been rescheduled for September 10th (Manchester, Gullivers NQ) and 11th (London, The Grace) and we’re hoping that those will still be able to go ahead (tickets here). I’m working on new material from the confines of my house and will be trying to get into a studio as soon as possible, I can’t wait.
They Listen To…
Phoebe Bridgers – Kyoto
A great song to scream along to in the car.
The Big Moon – A Hundred Ways to Land
Never has a lyric summed up my life feeling as much as “We don’t know where we’re going, but we’re walking like we do”.
Rachel Sermanni – So It Turns
This song soothes me to my very core.
Japanese Breakfast – This House
This song is now the theme tune of my houseshare; “This house is full of women, playing guitar, cooking breakfast, sharing trauma, doing dishes”. A very apt description of our lockdown experience.
Glenn Campbell – Galveston
A clear genre change here. All I can tell you is that this song is stuck in my head Every. Single. Day.
Our Heaviness is out now. Click HERE for more information on Lindsay Munroe.