lina tullgren Won (CD, £6.50)label: Captured Tracks
Lina Tullgren is from Southern Maine just over the border of the northernmost seacoast of New Hampshire. It’s an unexpected location for artistic incubation but osmosis is bound to occur when you grow up surrounded by family, friends and weirdos interacting at all times with their own interpretations of creative output. Shifting in trainings and traditions, the 23 year old eventually found herself a voice with the electric guitar, uniquely flavoured and shaped from the many years of fiddle lessons and classical technique. The shifts in genre and instrumentation are stark but important for her growth as a songwriter. Lina’s morphing interaction with music has mirrored a growing determination to harness her ability to melodically and lyrically express complex emotions - a rare gift at such a young age. With 2016’s ‘Wishlist’ EP - recorded to tape at the home of band mate Ty Ueda - Lina proved an ability to craft simple, introspective and succinct songs, each one a pulsing glow leaving you both hollow and whole, alone but never lonely. It is on Lina’s debut album ‘Won’ that we reap the full rewards of this newfound confidence in expression and rejection of internal hesitation. “The writing doesn’t necessarily get easier, but I feel more comfortable tapping into emotions and going to those places that need to be written about. ‘Won’, as it turned out, is the product that I have been hearing and picturing in my head as I write and listen to music.” It is the product of what happens when you push past the fear of what it means to think out loud - to become accountable for your internal struggles by way of manifesting your ideas into songs that are then free to grow apart from you, to exist on their own while always remaining specifically implicative of you. Now backed by a full band, each track manages to remain piercingly intimate, sometimes brief and always honest, while gaining a wholly new sense of gestation both sonically and lyrically.
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