Manchester singer/songwriter, Lindsay Munroe, has started the year right, releasing her beautiful debut single Mirror at the end of January. Having toured with the likes of Luke Sital-Singh, Common Holly and David Kitt previously, Munroe has a series headline shows coming up in Manchester, York and London leading up to the release of her new EP, Our Heaviness, on 8th May.
Mirror is a reflective track that sees cool, understated guitars bubble beneath a critical take on gender roles, stereotypes and media indoctrination – which all builds towards an addictive choral refrain – packed full of sniping attitude. Channelling a brash delivery that recalls Sharon Van Etten, this is a bold first release that is very close to being fully formed.
Three favourite albums:
Are We There – Sharon Van Etten
Early in my first year of university my best friend invited me to see Sharon Van Etten at Manchester Cathedral. I’d never heard of her and the idea of spending £20 of my meagre student budget on seeing an artist I didn’t know seemed ridiculous to me. Fast forward a year and Sharon had become one of my favourite musicians, held very dearly in my heart. The raw emotion of this album, the simplicity of the songs and strength in her vocals changed my whole relationship with song writing. It was also a lesson in never ignoring my best friend’s music recommendations- she is always right, and I am acknowledging this publicly. Maybe now she will forgive me for my ignorance.
Illinois – Sufjan Stevens
Illinois is probably one of my most listened to albums of all time. Sufjan’s songs have been a part of my life for years, I know every single note and small shift on this record. It’s become one of my comfort records, despite its slightly hectic energy. Stepping back from my musical comfort blanket for a more balanced view, it’s clear why so many people are still listening to this record religiously. As a solo artist, Sufjan sometimes still has a ‘singer songwriter’ nametag slapped on his chest, but the ambitious, unique and downright strange soundscapes that he creates within his songs has created a whole ‘Sufjan’ genre. The scope of this record is immense, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of listening to it.
Any Human Friend – Marika Hackman
I’ve loved every album Marika Hackman has made, but Any Human Friend has won my heart in a different way. From following Marika since her early days, I’ve read repetitively of how she had to fight the ‘kooky folk girl’ label. Seeing her throw those labels so strongly out of the window via a self-professed “wank anthem” is one of my favourite artist trajectories I have ever seen. The album is one big indie bop drowning in confidence and I am there for every second of it.
One favourite book:
East of Eden – John Steinbeck
I think I started reading East of Eden because it is very long and by a famous author and I wanted to look brainy. Or because I’d heard Laura Marling really liked it and I wanted to be her. But either way it blew my 19-year-old brain apart. These gargantuan themes of morality and personal responsibility being explored across so many characters through generations. It’s the only book that’s ever made me take notes of my thoughts whilst reading it. Which means no one will ever see my copy, with the scribbles of a shamefully pretentious teenager at the back.
One favourite film:
There’s a shortage of perfect films in the world. I would argue this is one of them. I love dumb comedy that’s been written by smart people. The Princess Bride was a teenage staple for me, and I have never outgrown it. It’s an absolute classic and we took full advantage of its quotable potential in my high school friendship group. I watched it repetitively after a particularly bad breakup and credit it with my miraculous recovery from that heartbreak.
One song that’s important:
My Mother and I – Lucy Dacus
I’m very close with my mother, but mother daughter relationships are not something I’ve seen represented very much in popular music. We’re at this really exciting point in music where women writing honestly about their experiences is happening in a ground-breaking way (although it’s incredibly damning that this is still ground-breaking). This track my Lucy Dacus really touched me, depicting the Mother/Daughter bond with the most complexity, tenderness and honesty I have ever heard. It’s a beautiful track that provided an immediate deep connection with a song that I hadn’t felt in a while.