Linda Marie Smith

Mearra Selkie from the Sea cover art_72 dpi

The ancient Celtic legend of the Selkie, a mythical seal with the mysterious ability to metamorphose into a human being, is the setting for Chicago-based singer/songwriter Linda Marie Smith’s fourth album, Mearra – Selkie from the Sea, to be released in February 2014.

With a genre-crossing vocal style that encompasses a folk/rock sensibility, Linda Marie Smith’s music is romantic, soulful, earthy, and mystical, with lyrics and melodies that weave colorful stories of curious places and intriguing people.  Linda has been compared to the likes of Christina Perri, Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams, Natalie Merchant, Jewel, and Sarah McLachlan.

An enigmatic and bittersweet story of love, loss, and transformation,Mearra – Selkie from the Sea begins with Mearra, a young Selkie maiden, falling in love with Ian, a lonely fisherman entranced by her beauty.  Mearra bids farewell to her life in the sea, marries Ian, and starts a family.  However, at the end of seven years, a Selkie must return to her watery cosmos.  The sea inexorably calls for Mearra’s return.

Mearra – Selkie from the Sea transports listeners, inviting chldren and adults alike to use their imaginations as they enter an enchanted world that has inspired writers and composers like Yeats, Synge, and Arnold Bax for centuries.  The highly evocative “Ian’s Song” sets a mood of Celtic mystery.  “Mearra” follows, and the listener is swept up in an expansive cloud of orchestral colors created by strings, percussion, and synthesizer that conjures images of sea, sky, and wild, rocky coastline.   “All This and More” delivers a change of pace with something of a Nashville country sound, which effectively introduces a human element into the watery, mystical world of the Selkie.  The jazziest number on the album is “Heaven Knows,” with its upbeat rhythm set by piano, concertina, and enthusiastic hand clapping.

We received this CD to review and really enjoyed the musical story! My son says some of the songs are catchy and he says it’s great for down time.

Immersed in music since childhood, Linda Marie Smith turned her attention to songwriting as an adult, and, in 1998, released a self-titled debut album, followed two years later by a second album, Blame it on the Moon.  Linda’s first multi-media show, the critically acclaimed The Triumph of Artemisia, premiered in 2006, as did her album by the same name.   Her current project, the multi-media experience Mearra – Selkie from the Sea, forms the basis for its accompanying album, produced by Rich Rankin at Mosaic Music in Chicago.

Honored by the Billboard Songwriting Contest, Linda Marie Smith’smusic has also received recognition from the Illinois Arts Council in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts.  In addition to recording and performing, she teaches at Chicago’s famed Old Town School of Folk Music.

Mearra – Selkie from the Sea will be available online at and iTunes.

Check out Linda Marie Smith’s website at

Self Disclosure: We received this CD to facilitate this post.

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