Mearra Selkie From The Sea is the new album from Chicago-based Folk singer song writer Linda Marie Smith. Like all good folk music, it tells a story; this one is a little mermaid-style story of lovers that are kept apart by the sea. The story is beautifully written and thought through.
Given my love for metal, my choice to review Mearra Selkie from the Sea would strike many people I know as strange, but I’ve always said even the most brutal of us needs to relax from time to time.
Linda Marie Smith’s soft flowing vocals are nothing short of mesmerising as she guides you through the story; each song is very much driven by her vocals. The album is a soothing mix of upbeat yet melancholy songs. Even when she is dealing with the most downhearted subjects, the song still manages to come across as if she has found a happy memory that she truly cherishes. The overall album is in a hopeful mood that still makes the listener want to smile, which is expertly done in the song “I Would Lose You.”
Musically, the more up-tempo songs sound at times like a mix of folk and country. “All This And More” is a good example of this; the guitar and drum work have a country feel, and the vocals never go far from their folk roots.
Given that the country feel is at times distinctly American, it’s surprising to notice that there is also a very Celtic feel to the album. Smith deals with Celtic mythology wonderfully and with great respect. I know more than one person that would be thankful for the mention of the Welsh coast rather than the English coast, one of the major bug bears when it comes to the Welsh people.
In short, Mearra Selkie From The Sea is a brilliant example of folk music with a good strong story and a genuine love for the mythology that forms the album’s subject matter. The bards of old would be proud, but it still keeps a fresh feel. I can’t fault it.
Written by Paul Foxon