There’s an arresting, visceral rawness to Lindsay Munroe’s songwriting. Her tracks ache and yearn with emotive reckoning, offering a striking windswept poise as she finds catharsis. With her debut EP Our Heaviness out next Friday, we caught up with the Manchester-based artist to find out five tracks that have influenced her.

A graceful and meandering track, ‘River’, the third single from the EP, purveys a wistful serenity. A track that sees Munroe’s stirring vocals soar with crystalline potency, sparse, shimmering guitar melodies and hushed percussion offer a gentle, celestial backdrop to Munroe’s tender and vulnerable lyrics as she finds a sense of comfort.

Speaking on the track, Munroe explains, “I was in a long-term relationship that ended very suddenly and with a lot of heartbreak, but we were back together within 48 hours. Months later I found myself still experiencing heartbreak and broken trust but not knowing what to do with it.” She adds, “In each verse, I weigh up the options of how to respond; initially I ignore my feelings and deny them, but by the end I reach acceptance”.

Ahead of next week’s release, get to know Lindsay Moore In Five…

Boyfriend- Marika Hackman

I love that Marika made such an indie anthem, taking a well-worn musical path and imbibing it with something new. There are endless indie-pop tunes about lads trailing after a girl, but what about ones that come from other perspectives? Marika’s reclaiming of that genre for a queer voice is not only wonderful but also fun. It influenced our production choices for my, less ground-breaking, tune ‘Mirror’. An indie body image anthem seemed like an exciting challenge and I like the idea of people bopping along to it and feeling empowered.

I Told You Everything – Sharon Van Etten

The droning synths in this song, and the whole album ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’, were a reference point throughout recording my EP. Sharon is the master of slow build songs. It seems to me that in building tracks she is unafraid of simplicity, adding instrumentation when it’s helpful to the emotional impact of the song, not just for the sake of it. I’ve been really influenced by that style of songwriting, with vocals sitting firmly at the forefront and guiding you through a song or album.

Josephine – Our Girl

I love everything that Our Girl do. It was probably through watching them play that I thought “wow guitars are amazing; I should write guitar solos and be cooler”. ‘Josephine’ is this perfect slow build, with heavier textures that draw you into a swirling world of perfect guitar tone. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m a big fan. I used some of Our Girl’s work as a reference for ‘Easier On You’ (second song on ‘Our Heaviness’). In the end we kept it more toned down to fit with the rest of the EP, but at live shows we hit it much harder and it’s such a fun song to end a set with (I never got to be in a teenage band so I guess I’m living out that adolescent dream now).

Fourth of July – Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens is a master song writer. His album Carrie and Lowell is such a raw and unfiltered exploration of grief. It’s somehow completely in your face, yet detached, unafraid of darkness and yet incredibly affectionate and warm. We took some inspiration from the way Sufjan ends certain tracks, opening them out into these lush soundscapes. This inspired ‘Opening’ and ‘River’ on ‘Our Heaviness’, layering synths and guitars to almost bathe in. We went with a slightly more broken approach, throwing in some dissonance and glitchy sounds.

Lilo – The Japanese House

I love this kind of sucker punch blunt lyricism mixed with metaphor. For a time, I thought that you could either be a poetic, metaphorical musician or an ‘on the nose’ lyricist. Artists like The Japanese House seem to combine these approaches, using whatever makes the point best. It’s like expanding your lyrical arsenal, shooting straight for the bullseye when you need to and hiding behind words when you want to. Plus, nothing hurts my heart more than the image of Amber Bain (The Japanese House) sitting cross legged on her phone next to a slowly burning car. What a picture of heartbreak.

Our Heaviness is out June 19th.

Photo credit: Billy Holmes