With a trademark self-assuredness balanced alongside open-hearted emotional fragility, Manchester based alt-indie singer songwriter Lindsay Munroe is a regular favourite of ours here at Bitter Sweet Symphonies. As she builds towards the release of her new EP, Our Heaviness (due in May), Munroe follows up her previous single ‘Mirror’ with this latest number, ‘Split.’
More sombre in tone than her previous material, it’s a stunning, raw number, centred around Lindsay’s attempts to reclaim her identity. Channelling a deep, guttural intensity that brings to mind the likes of PJ Harvey and Sharon Van Etten, ‘Split’ leads off with sparse guitar-led backing, gradually building towards a heavy, cathartic climax, her band on electric form.
“‘Split’ is one of the rawest songs I have written,” says Munroe. “I spent my early 20s in conservative religious environments, embedded in black-and-white thinking and beliefs. Increasingly I felt like I had to leave part of myself at the door, painfully unable to be open about my life and choices. ‘Split’ came from an attempt to move beyond the hurt and exhaustion of that situation.”
Her distinctive, powerful vocals ground the whole number, with a crisp, precise delivery hooking us in from the first verse. It’s in the open nature of her lyrical content as well, when she sings, “I split myself in two/ Every time I towed the line,” that really hits hardest. You vividly feel her pent up anger and attempts to reconcile with her past pain.
Wider-spread awareness of Munroe’s music is increasingly accelerating also, with continued backing from the BBC, a nod of approval from Sharon Van Etten via social media, and a slew of blistering live shows to her name, leading to a recent denomination by the Manchester Evening News, of Munroe as “The Manchester Acoustic Scene’s most exciting young graduate”. As mentioned, her forthcoming EP, Our Heaviness, is set for release on May 8th via AWAL, produced by Chris Hamilton (Torres, LUMP) and featuring The Big Moon’s Fern Ford on percussion. Keep those ears primed and ready.
‘Split’ is out now – available to Stream/Purchase here.
Photo Credit: Billy Holmes