Tag Archives: Lina Tullgren

Big Ups: MOURN Pick Their Favorite Music on Bandcamp

Mourn

Photo by Noemí Elías

Before the critically acclaimed Catalonia band MOURN—Carla Peréz Vas, Jazz Rodríguez Bueno, Leia Rodríguez, and Antonio Postius—were signed to Captured Tracks, they were mired in a legal dispute with their Spanish label. Frustrated by their inability to tour behind their sophomore LP, Ha, Ha, He!, the band channeled that rage to create Sorpresa Familia, a snarling LP full of post-punk fervor.

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Album of the Day: Lina Tullgren, “Won”

The first thing many listeners will notice about Lina Tullgren’s debut album is its eerie cover art—a stark, monochrome shot of an off-camera figure pulling cheesecloth from the singer’s mouth. More than just a mere metaphor, it’s actually a sly nod to the century-old phenomenon of ectoplasmic photography. For all the non-paranormal studies majors out there, that’s a classic form of con artistry involving crooked mediums, cheap props, and demons that’ve been “exorcised” by double-exposed film.

How this all relates back to Tullgren’s record is quite simple, really; while last year’s Wishlist EP was guarded and a little gritty, Won is full-blooded and unafraid of laying it all on the line. It’s as if the Maine native set out to answer the question she asks alongside the queasy chords and quiet stormfronts of “Red Dawn”: “What does it mean to wear your heart on your sleeve?”

In Tullgren’s case, it means tightly wound tracks that tickle your brain with mournful vocal melodies, minimal-yet-muscular guitars, and drums that stumble, sputter, and strut like a fairly inebriated close friend. Bruised and brutally honest, it’s as fearless and ectoplasm-free as singer-songwriter fare gets these days.

—Andrew Parks

This Week’s Essential Releases: Art-Soul, Replicant Jock Jams & Americana

7 essential

Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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How Lina Tullgren Went From Classical to Bluegrass to Captured Tracks

Lina Tullgren
Photo by Mel Taing

It would be easy to romanticize twentysomething Lina Tullgren’s bohemian New England seaside youth. Her mom is a classical flautist with a master’s in Baroque theory; her dad is a jazz enthusiast who would play Television, Steely Dan and the Beatles when he drove her to school. Tullgren was free to explore her wildest artistic dreams at an early age, and began studying classical violin when she was seven. She didn’t fall in love with the instrument until her violin teacher gave her a fiddle piece to sight read, which sent her spiraling down a rabbithole of bluegrass and Appalachian folk music. When she was 13, she got a cheap nylon-string guitar on which she learned to play Elliott Smith songs, her next great musical love.

All of this informs Wishlist, Lina’s debut EP, which she originally self-released on Bandcamp, but is now being re-released by Captured Tracks. The album began in earnest when Tullgren’s friend Ty Udeda sent her a Craigslist ad for a $70 off-model Teisco Japanese guitar for sale in nearby Providence. Two days later, she plugged it into an amp in the basement of the house she shared with touring musicians and immediately wrote “Watchdog,” the EP’s first track.

The five songs on Wishlist seem informed by her musical upbringing. Wide-eyed wonder pairs with a resonant despair, and the economical arrangements of two guitars and Tullgren’s vocals make for songs that are equal parts whimsy and passion.

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