Molly Linen photographed by Beth Chalmers | @bethchalmersphoto_
Kicking off her tour, Molly Linen brings together an evening of dulcet tones and a serene mood with support from Winnipeg, MN. and Duskhouse in the basement space of Rossi Bar, juxtaposing the bustling bar upstairs.
Up first, Winnipeg, MN. takes the stage with his acoustic guitar and gets straight into playing their swirling take on folk, with minimal conversation. Winnipeg’s deeply personal lyrics create an evocative dialogue with the audience about the very human realities of romance and loss. The first half of their set is melancholy and texturally rich from the aid of a drum machine. Around halfway through their performance, however, the tone changes. In ‘No Free Time’ they sing of being “newly optimistic” which is evident from this point forward as the songs take on a sense of hope, a stark departure from the despondent chords we heard before. Winnipeg gives an embodied performance that is full of reflection and emotion that stays with you long after their lilting vocals and spectral guitar lines finish.
Following this, four-piece alternative folk band Duskhouse dive headfirst into their set, filling the room with the sounds of Americana. What captures you first is the way in which each member complements each other, their dynamic feels deliberate and purposeful. The band introduce themselves after their opening song, welcoming us into their dynamic and creating a casual and cosy atmosphere, encouraging audience members to take a seat, even in the standing area. Their music injects warmth into the room, even through introspective themes, not least of all thanks to the appearance of a harmonica and their switching around of instruments and roles. ‘Josephine’, for instance, is a narrative song about a fictional widow but the vocalists of the band talk about the writing process with light-hearted humour. Layered-yet-delicate sounding, Duskhouse’s slowcore-tinged folk-rock sound culminates in smooth and melancholy ‘Four Walls’ and maintains the calming tones that defines the rest of their act.
Seeing out the evening, headline act Molly Linen leads her 9-day tour with melodic guitars and mellifluous vocals. ‘The Day Starts’ is a personal song about her grandfather that evokes balmy summers, and golden hour light- this feeling sets the tone for the rest of the set. Linen comes across as sweet and personable, building upon the cosy feeling the previous act fostered. The soft, more traditional folk sounds are varied by the inclusion of a clarinet midway through the performance and each song played promises feelings of home and features anecdotal, delicate vocals and earnest lyrics surrounding themes of being in nature. The performance presents a strong conclusion to the evening while maintaining the meditative cadence of the previous acts.