Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick Hit: Linda Marie Smith

March 12, 2015

mearra

Just about the only thing of Linda Marie Smith‘s Mearra~Selkie from the Sea that doesn’t look and sound 100% Celtic is the artist’s name. Smith’s album is a song cycle depicting the Celtic myth of the selkie: a seal that can shed its skin and become a human (a woman, as you may be able to guess).

The album isn’t an overdose of Celtic stereotypes (this isn’t a Riverdance equivalent); instead, it’s a set of gentle, lush tunes with the lilt and air of Ireland about them. Smith’s refined alto voice fits perfectly, leading the tunes with a earthy, storyteller’s vibe. The album largely sticks to a sound somewhere between piano-driven singer/songwriter, mystic new age a la Enya, and dramatic arrangements that wouldn’t be out of place in a musical, although there are occasional indie-pop moments (“Heaven Knows”). (This actually is a musical of sorts: there’s a visual accompaniment that was recently shown on PBS.) If you’re into dignified, refined Celtic vibes amid your quiet, Mearra~Selkie from the Sea should be on your list.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of instrumental music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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