Molly Linen on her debut EP: 'It's acknowledging how good being outdoors and in the countryside is for if you're feeling down'
- Kate Walker
- 20 September 2019
credit: Beth Chalmers
Glasgow-based songwriter and guitarist and Lost Map Records' latest signing discusses her forthcoming EP Outside
The concept behind Molly Linen's debut EP is a simple reminder of something easily forgotten; Outside explores the therapeutic effects of leaving the house and removing yourself from the pull of digital distractions. 'It's acknowledging how good being outdoors and in the countryside is for if you're feeling down,' says Linen. 'Being out in the elements, even if it's windy and rainy, always has a positive effect.'
The inspiration of turning seasons and Scotland's unruly weather are reflected in the five delicately arranged and serenely delivered tracks on the EP. Linen cites This Is The Kit and Cate Le Bon as influences, and describes how working with a band for the first time has helped her develop creatively and expand on older ideas. 'There's often been things that I've written three or four years ago, and then find a little phone recording of, and then we go back and work on top of them together as a band.'
Despite its overarching theme of being outdoors, listening to this quietly poignant collection of tracks is like being invited to peer through a window at the more interior happenings of Linen's life. 'The songs were written over quite a long period of time. They span from when I lived in Shropshire – that's where I grew up – and then moving to Glasgow for university. So the songs kind of came with me through these different life experiences.' The lyrics explore themes of growing up and moving on; lead single 'When They Didn't Care' touches on that refreshing moment of realisation that it's not worth worrying about what others think of you that much after all.
Glasgow's close-knit music community was one of the reasons Linen was drawn to the city from her rural Shropshire home down South. 'It's such a good hub for up-and-coming bands … the promoters that put on gigs in Glasgow are often really good at helping out people who haven't necessarily had much experience playing gigs. I've certainly found it a very welcoming place to get involved in music.'
Whilst weaving together musical and thematic threads about her personal experiences, Linen was also weaving actual physical fabrics, having just finished a degree in textile design. 'I graduated this summer actually, so the past year has been a whirlwind. I handed in my final project, and then the night after my degree show I went to the Isle of Eigg for the festival, and when I came back I got my results. It was quite a crazy weekend!'
That festival was Howlin' Fling, the annual showcase from Lost Map, which seems like the perfect label for Linen's music with its unorthodox base in a caravan on the remote island, and a diverse roster of exciting artists from across Scotland and beyond. Linen agrees that they are an ideal match: 'Lost Map is a label that I've really loved for a long time, and it's really nice to know that they're happy to put the songs out there and give them some sort of life.'
Outside is out on Fri 4 Oct on Lost Map.