Review: Linying @ Camden Assembly [1/11/16]
“my love is a friday pouring and a black wave cresting and crashing down the living room shore”
Linying has been blowing up recently. From her surprise hit Sticky Leaves to topping the Singapore iTunes charts with her debut 5-track EP, this girl is really making a name for herself.
With her debut non-Singapore gig in London tonight, Linying seems set to take over the world one continent at a time. Huddled at the cosy Camden Assembly at Chalk Farm, we were treated to an intimate gig from the young songstress, who’s been compared to artists such as Bon Iver and Daughter.
With an opening act from Australian artist Calan Mai, who warmed our hearts with his original indie compositions and cover of The 1975’s Sex, the crowd of approximately fifty or so people were ready to welcome Linying onstage. The mostly Singaporean group (supporting local music!) applauded when she came on at a quarter past nine, opening with her most popular song to date and her claim to fame – Sticky Leaves, an instant crowd-pleaser with its familiarity.
Although throughout the gig she didn’t speak much, introducing maybe two songs and a bit about herself, her voice really speaks for itself. Linying’s voice is what makes her so special, and seeing her live tonight, headlining her own show, it was evident that it truly is a treasure; tender and capable of delivering that dreamlike quality to her songs. She worked her way through her discography quickly; after all, she has less than 10 songs to her name for now, following up with Alpine, her EP’s title track Paris 12 and Grime, all off her debut EP, which was in part inspired by her experiences both good and bad living in Paris for a few months.
There was a surprise in store for the lucky audience just then – surprise guest Gentle Bones showed up onstage to perform a duet with Linying, “Liar”, which the two had co-written and appears on Gentle Bones’ sophomore album Geniuses and Thieves. The track takes the best of both their vocals, and this really was an opportunity for the two sounds to meld onstage.
Linying ended off the gig with a stripped down, piano cover of Bon Iver’s Blood Bank, a perfect choice of cover that really showed where her inspiration came from. With full control over the sole instrument, she demonstrated full control over her voice, and really worked the crowd. Finally, Linying closed with Speak Up Selah, a soaring, almost hymnal song that would have been a perfect fit for a film’s closing credits, much as it ended off the gig.
Linying has proven herself to be an absolute up and coming star, with a real unique edge and personality to her voice that has the potential to go big in the indie scene once more word gets out there. With a little more practice and exposure, she could probably really learn how to work a crowd’s energy and draw out the full suite of cheers and applause. But for now, this is enough and all the proof you need to see that our local music scene is definitely in good hands and certainly going places.
Linying’s debut EP Paris 12 available now on various music streaming services, associated with Akira Records in the UK and Europe, and Universal Music in Singapore.
Liar ft. Gentle Bones
Blood Bank (Bon Iver Cover)
Speak Up Selah