With 2020 proving to be an incredibly productive year for the young artist, Portsmoth-based singer and songwriter Megan Linford recently capped off the year with the release of her new EP 'Isolation Tapes'.
Self-produced and experimenting with a wide array of instrumentation throughout, 'Isolation Tapes' marks an extremely intimate moment in her career so far. With her beautifully lilting voice layered effortlessly amongst wistful compositions, this new EP feels like we are only cracking the surface to what she is capable of.
So with the new collection out and about, we sat down with her to find out more about her background and what has inspired her over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
The first instrument I fell in love with has got to be the guitar. The acoustic guitar to be exact! I’ve been totally in love with it ever since I got my first acoustic at 12. It opened up the possibilities of songwriting to me, I was a singer from a young age but guitar gave me the scope to being a musician too. I now work as an acoustic guitar specialist at a local music store!
What was the first song that inspired you to make your own music?
The first song I remember hearing that inspired me to start making my own music was a song called Awkward Annie by Kate Rusby. I remember being given tickets to see her at a local theatre by a teacher from my school when I was around 13. I was absolutely transfixed by her whole set. The first time I’d ever seen a Folk band like that play before. That song jumped out for me and I remember wanting to rush home after and learn it on guitar!
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
I was a huge fan of all things acoustic and folk as a teenager. I loved the first Mumford and Sons album when that came out and finding that lead me to the folk section of CDS at HMV! From there I found loads of Folky artists, I would listen to Laura Marling, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell on repeat. I used to save all my money each week from my paper round and go into town and buy all my favourite CDs.
What do you find is the best environment to find inspiration for your music?
I tend to find inspiration from everywhere these days. Some times its nature and the outside world. I love going for walks in the forest or the countryside and I often find inspiration for words in nature. Or other times it may come from situations or people in my life. Writing has always been a form of release for me so often times I’ll write about hard or real situations I’ve encountered. Inspiration for the music side sometimes comes just from hearing an interesting chord in a song!
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Recently I’ve been listening to a real variety of music. I’ve had Elliott Smith on a lot, that might be somewhat down to the general sombre air in the world at the moment. His songwriting is so clever. Ive also been listening to a lot of soul, I loved the album Lianne La Havas brought out last year, that and I’ve recently got into Son Little too. Both have been on repeat.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Oh what a great question! I’ve written a fair few songs about people in my lives over the years. I had a song all about being there for my sisters on my first EP and I’ve often written about my friends. I have a song called Leaving Town which is about a friend of mines journey through heartbreak.
What has been the most unusual moment in your career so far?
The most unusual moment of my career so far was probably playing a little headline acoustic show in Belgium in 2019 and seeing a table of faces, that I didn’t know, at the front singing along to a few of my songs! I thought it was absurd but totally incredible they’d even heard them before.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
I’d absolutely love to open for Laura Marling one day. I think I’ve been dreaming of that since the first time I saw her live in 2011. My absolute dream show would be to go back in time to the Hyde Park show in 2019 with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Laura Marling and Cat Power and open up that show. What a line-up that was!
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I often wonder about this, I think I’d probably end up pursuing something in Psychology or mental health. Ive always been so fascinated by human psyches and how they work. When I’m not making music, I'm usually reading countless texts on trying to understand the human mind.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
I think the best pieces of advise I’ve received is; 1. Practice practice practice. It sounds like an obvious one but you do have to have a level of patience with yourself knowing that you always get better at something the more time you spend on it. 2. Always be authentically yourself. This one I think is super important, at the end of the day we are all different and unique and its those differences that make each of us stand out. Never dim your uniqueness down!
Megan Linford's new EP 'Isolation Tapes' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in full via the player below.