Linda Smith

Nothing Else Matters

Captured Tracks • 1995

In Bedroom Pop, there’s a plethora of moments one might find fascinating. The songwriting. The intimate lyrics. The DIY ethos. The musician’s immeasurable creativity. Their ability to express the infinite complexity of feelings. All of these blossom on the recent re-releases of Linda Smith, a beacon of the 1980s and 90s home recording scene. »Nothing Else Matters« is the first album the Yankee has taped with an 8-track cassette recorder. Over the course of 13 tracks, it combines dreamy guitars with baroque synths and playful drums. Smith plants avant-garde allures on top. »Only A Moment«, for example, lays on a dissonant violin and dissociated talking. On »Salad Days«, you hear someone giggling. Some hubbub in the background. Smith’s lyrics sound out the tender relation between daily lives and sublime exhilaration. Not unlike unhappy lovers, they get hung up on something trivial in one moment and feel the clutches of Death in the next. Smith frequents ICUs, garden parties and a room of one’s own. Both her voice and her songwriting share perks with wallflowers – they are discreet, skillfully cultivated, if somewhat feeble. »Nothing Else Matters« is a good album, nothing more, nothing less. To put it another way: It’s good as it is. Don’t look for perfection when recording next to your bed. In between windowsill and nightstand, you’ll only find opportunities to activate the hidden potential of the mundane.