EP: Molly Linen – Days Awake review

by Philip Moss

Step into Molly Linen’s world – and let her gentle songs carry you through your day

The best songwriters create a world for you to step into. They don’t need lavish arrangements. Guitar and voice can be all it takes, and – despite, at times, being backed by the subtitles of a band across Days Awake – it’s in her plaintive, reflective songwriting where the heart of this collection lies. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than on the Glasgow based artist’s opener, A Lot to Give. Immediately, her mesmerising voice takes hold – softly wrapping you in its cotton cloud comfort. But these are not songs made for the city – maybe a desire to escape the high rise of where she now calls home – and it’s in her Shropshire beginnings where the songs feel more suited. ‘It’s good being outdoors, and in the countryside is for if you’re feeling down.’ Linen states of a collection perfectly matched to a dewy weekend walk surrounded nature.

The stretch and yawn of The Day Starts has the feel of Aldous Harding – but after the initial guitar plucks, it’s early Laura Marling that comes to mind. Spacious – free and at ease – her songs have that special something that conjures breath into the listener, as the song’s chorus sees the songwriter falling almost into a mantra – Linen seemingly under a spell of her own making, as considered percussion adds feel rather than rhythm. While Awake At Night is another perfect example of Linen knowing when to add colour to her songs – with gentle flourishes from her backing band adding just enough light into the nooks and crannies that open up around her voice.

Molly Linen may be at the start of her songwriting journey – but her world is already starting to open up.

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