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.
From sparse indie folk ballads to hard-hitting Americana anthems, Letitia VanSant’s distinctly intimate voice delivers songs that are both deeply personal and politically relevant. Whether performing as a duo or with her all-star four-piece band, her live shows have been described as “vibrant and approachable.”
VanSant’s songwriting has earned numerous awards, including the Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition, an honor shared among the likes of Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, and Anais Mitchell. She is a finalist for the 2019 Baker Artist Awards and listeners of 89.7 WTMD voted one of her songs among the top 10 of the year.