New York City native Emily Mure has journeyed from playing concert halls as a classically trained oboist to busking as a singer-songwriter on the streets of Ireland. Her third album,Worth (September 2017), brings together all of her rich experiences as a musical traveler, spotlighting both her technical ability and gift for vulnerable, heartfelt songwriting.
Recorded at Dimension Sound Studios in Jamaica Plain, Mass., Worth blends Mure’s clear vocals with a variety of instruments – including strings, piano, organ, and ukulele. It also takes listeners through a complex collection of themes that aren’t always easy to mine, such as coping with anxiety, saying goodbye to one’s hometown, and learning to cultivate self-acceptance.
All the songs on the album were composed by Mure, save one cover, “As The World Falls Down,” by David Bowie; a tune she decided to learn when the icon passed in January 2016. Having already helmed the majority of violin and cello arrangements on Worth, she decided to try her hand at putting strings to this particular one. “Bowie was such an inspirational force,” Mure notes. “I re-watched Labyrinth since it was one of my favorite movies growing up. When I heard this song, I remembered how much I loved it, and felt moved to pay homage.”
While she has no fear of tackling difficult subjects, Mure also has a soft touch with love songs, as evidenced by Worth’s “Already Are,” a composition she wrote for her husband as a gift on their wedding day. The song summarizes the enormity of recognizing love, building trust, and growing alongside another person.
In a time when embracing the heart and soul of humanity is at a critical moment, Baltimore’s Americana songstress Letitia VanSant releases a poignant collection of originals and one cover on her debut nationally distributed studio album, Gut It To The Studs. VanSant sings of emotional empowerment, taking control of one’s destiny and leading with truth in her singular works.
In her music as in her life, VanSant’s has always sought to wrestle with worthy questions and impact social change. Before her return to Baltimore, VanSant earned a Human Rights Humanitarian Issues concentration from Macalester College (St. Paul, MN). Afterwards she traveled to Detroit to work with the Obama campaign and then signed on with AmeriCorps for a year developing gardens at public schools. Five years of work with a progressive advocacy group landed her in Washington DC. On weekends, she reflected on the state of society through her songs, earning a regional following in coffee shops and clubs.
Upon weighing the power of music to move people, she ultimately left her nine-to- five job to become a musician.
VanSant’s national debut Gut It To The Studs opens in tandem with her life as a full-time artist. To get off of the beaten path, though, one must contend with the uncertainties of uncharted territory. “Where I’m Bound” shows VanSant persevering through a “land of broken promises and streets of fool’s gold” with a “map in the stars,” and by following her faith.