MaryLeigh Roohan – ‘Living Alone’ (EP stream) (premiere)

In which the Americana singer-songwriter broadens her range, to marvellous effect.

After a pair of albums singer-songwriter MaryLeigh Roohan has emerged as a unique voice in Americana. Not only does her warm, dusky voice add welcome grit and soul to her performances, but her compositions veer toward the darker side of country, folk, and R&B. That versatility is on full display on the captivating new EP Living Alone, which comes out on 25 September and can be listened to in its entirety below. As you’ll hear, Roohan can lay down some bluesy roots rock reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt, ’70s AOR like Linda Ronstadt, venture into Southern soul, and while she’s at it, deliver a knockout cover of Sonny Bono’s classic “Bang Bang”.

In addition, her lyrics are particularly unflinching. “Writing is always very therapeutic for me,” she tells PopMatters. “It allows me to digest and really understand what I’m feeling. If lyrics aren’t sitting right with me, I know it’s because they aren’t entirely true to me in some way. In the past though, I would always try to deliver the sadness in a sweet way to avoid ‘turning people off’ or boring them or whatever. With this record, I feel like I allowed myself be fully honest in my songwriting. There’s no sugarcoating.”