Linaire – My Montreal

Rubert Clam

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Linaire – Photo: Rebecca Lessard

Linaire is the new songwriting project of Montreal composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Anna Atkinson.

Uncluttered electronic beats and ethereal synths combine with incandescent strings and poetically lucid lyrics to produce music that is at once spacious and full. Like plastic antiques, the songs feel both timeless and contemporary in their exploration of presence, anxiety, curiosity, lineage and identity. 

Atkinson released the self-titled Linaire album earlier this month and in many ways it’s the perfect soundtrack to 2020.

Steve Gerrard chatted with the Montreal-based artist about the record and the places she’s been escaping to in the city as well as her favourite music venues and which other local artists she recommends checking out.

Watch the full interview below:

For Atkinson, the adoption of the name Linaire signals a setting forth onto a new path of exploration and self-expression. She builds her musical worlds from layers of airy synthesizers, Omnichord, strings, and drum machines, approaching beauty and discomfort in a manner both direct and honest. Peeking into her soul and pushing her own boundaries, Atkinson uses lyrical repetition to slow down and magnify ephemeral moments, while the album’s thoughtful instrumentation creates a sense of limitlessness to the atmosphere of each song.

Each of these ten succinct and subtly engrossing tracks—none running longer than six-minutes—seems to contain a life beyond its lyrics. This is perhaps best demonstrated on songs like “No Part of Me Ever Dies” or “Best I Can,” which address the complex relationship of the past to the present, without ignoring the future, and all the while focusing less on ideas of resolution than on trying to understand the questions raised—the final line of ”Best I Can” rings through the ambiance like both a mantra and a summation: “wasting nothing.”

“Linaire” is out now and on all major streaming services.

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