Vivian Linden
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Vivian Linden

Band Alternative Americana


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"Venus Magazine"

Despite what the black and white album cover of the pale, raven-haired artist standing before a still sea might suggest, Vivian Linden isn’t this year’s big goth queen. While, yes, there is a distraught melancholy here that is synonymous with the genre, Watch the Light Fade is pure country-fueled Americana.
Throughout this debut full-length permeates a beautiful sort of sorrow-filled hopefulness that one can’t help but be drawn to. Not only that, the entire album has a feel of one of those really calm thunderstorms that used to keep you up at night as a kid, those storms that eventually cleared up to reveal a ruby red sky.
Just a few of the notable tracks here include the atmospheric yet twangy opening number “Pass the Wires”; the sassy, classic country-like and lonesome tune “I Fall to You”; and the hauntingly sexy “Bewitched”. Not to be overlooked, however, are the sweet and tender “Breathless” and the Grapes of Wrath fell of “Oh My Lover”. By album’s end, Linden waxes nostalgic with “Going Back to Houston” and never straying too far from the formula, the closer sounds every bit as fresh as “Pass the Wires” did.
While admittedly not a perfect record (a few of the tracks do drag on a bit, especially for an album that is only nine songs long), Watch the Light Fade is an admirable debut from an artist who can come on like a rainstorm and touch your heart at the same time. Let’s see a goth princess do that. 7 (of 10)
- Dean Ramos


Americana has been making a bit of a comeback in the past couple of years. Artists like Vivian Linden are part of the reason why. Her sincere songwriting layers passionate lyrics and heartfelt vocals over top of rootsy folk rock with tempting textures and transient sounds of guitar. Twang in the guitar department with slow-paced percussion and melancholy female vocals make for a perfect marriage. She's joined by some rather accomplished and notorious fellow musicians including jazz organist Wayne Horvitz whose past is speckled with stints alongside John Zorn and Bill Frisell. Brilliant songwriting that spotlights traditional roots rock and Americana.
- J-Sin

"Watch the Light Fade - Album Review"

"Pity the fool who’d think of murdering Vivian Linden: with a voice like hers, she’s bound to come back as a ghost and haunt you. Linden’s instrument is reminiscent of Cat Power, Hope Sandoval, and Margo Timmons (of Cowboy Junkies), equal parts cracked and crystalline, gravel and gold dust, the kind you’d expect to hear drifting across the desert at sunset. Judging by the title of her debut album, “Watch the Light Fade,” and the dead flowers decorating its cover, Linden is fully aware of her gift, and employs to exquisite effect." - Plug-in-Music

"Watch the Light Fade - Album Review"

"In "Pass the Wires", the first of nine bluesily country tracks, Linden murmurs that "I am restless; I am sleepless; I am weary." Those qualities lace the entire album of sorrow-soaked slow songs, shot through with Cowboy Junkies and embroidered with Mazzy Star. Singing of "love, lust, lonesomeness and loss," Linden's plaintiveness recalls a deeper-voiced Iris Dement or Emmylou Harris. If you like your music darkly acoustic and sweetly bitter, add this to your collection. " - 75 or Less

"Watch the Light Fade - Album Review"

"Shaped by the shadowy pedal steel, Vivian’s compositions possess a classic country feel, but her sultry and seductive vocals are more reminiscent of a late night jazz diva in a smoky bar while the song structures flirt shamelessly with pop formulas and appeal. She delivers a warm and hopeful, albeit esoteric, spin on a world that can get admittedly cold. Conjuring images of leaving big cities at night in search of mountains, you can almost see your discarded cigarette bouncing sparks off of the dark highway as you speed off to nowhere in particular. There’s an all too real desperation in her voice that tells you this woman has lived and when she sings “There’s a lonesomeness that I’ve longed for” on the opening track, “Pass the Wires”, you feel yourself hoping for her sweet release. Lyrically, Vivian is (and I never use this term loosely) Buckley-esque- shaping intimate tales of heartbreak and freedom in one breath, but never giving too much away- you feel her pain and remorse, but does she? Unlike many of her female contemporaries, Vivian finds empowerment in metaphors, cryptic memories and bar stools. She never relies too heavily on confessional rants about how broken her frail little heart is. She also never postures as some independent tough chick, she’s a real person and not ashamed of it. The influx of pretty chicks with guitars could learn a lot from the personality and depth Vivian puts into every song. A product of Emmylou, Neko, Shelby and Loretta, Vivian sets the standard for tough yet vulnerable from here on out." - Relative Theory Records

"Americana UK"

If you have visited 'heaven & hell' this could be just the tonic. - Andy Riggs

"Three Imaginary Girls Review"

Aquarius, good relationships with those you work and live with are especially vital to you. That's why when the domestic scene is tossed about, it's especially heartbreaking. Speaking of heartbreak, Tarnished Records seems to be the label also known as Heartbreak Hotel, cultivating a roster of artists aching for reprieve and redemption through their languid, lush torch tunes. Watch The Light Fade, the first full-length from Vivian Linden is a nine song stack of sadness, even when filled with temptation-trembling desire ("Breathless," "Silver Light"). These are ballads of erotic dreams and faithful devotions challenged, sung by a woman with the steady confidence of a C&W-raised female Sinatra. - Chris Estey

"Seattle Post-Intelligencer"

Fans of Jesse Sykes and Sera Cahoone will feel far ahead of the curve by latching onto Vivian Linden now, before her ascent to stardom. This local vocalist sings in a plaintive pitch and borrows similar elements -- reverb-soaked guitar, lonely steel and brushed drums. - Tizzy Asher

"PopMatters Review"

Backed by a seasoned horde of Seattle musicians, Vivian Linden paints a dark, dreary backdrop on several of these songs so she can draw you in with her voice. And what a voice, one that sounds like a cross between Kathleen Edwards and Emmylou Harris, particularly on the stripped-down “Pass The Wires” as she sings about this life being unkind to her. Hers is a style that is definitely steeped in old-time country formats, especially with the pretty and poignant “I Fall To You”, and the slightly faster pace of “Bewitched”, that is a moody offering in the vein of Lucinda Williams. You will savor every minute of the tender, bittersweet and adorable “Breathless” that creeps along. Listeners might be put off by the fact that Linden opts to stay the course and offer up slightly different variations on what is essentially the same structure, but it’s done so damn well with gems like the haunting “Silver Light” and the equally stunning, dark and murky “Oh, My Lover”, that it’s not really up for debate. Fans of Grey Delisle would do themselves a great service picking this one up as Linden never lets up once on the record. - Jason MacNeil


The Latecomers EP: Nov. 2004

Watch the Light Fade (debut full-length) was released in Fall 2006 on Tarnished Records.

Watch the Light Fade One-Sheet, more quotes and high-res images available for download on artist's site.



Though Vivian is now a Seattle resident, her songs are largely unique expressions of her unusual upbringing in various one-room cabins amidst of the coastal mountains of northern California. “Growing up in that fashion, I was often at the mercy of the elements,” she recalls. “So from a very young age, I have been deeply connected to and influenced by the weather. My perception of any experience is always inextricably tied to the conditions of the sky. “

Throughout her set we hear tales of reluctant love and rain-heavy clouds, of lust beneath the light of a full moon, of loneliness in sun-dappled meadows, and the inevitability of loss..

“When I went in to record the album, I generally didn’t ask people to play specific lines or notes on their instruments, instead I would say ‘play that drum part so that it sounds like thunder’ or ‘play that piano part high and lonesome as though it were a small star in the night sky’. It probably drove everyone crazy at the time,” she confides, “but, for me, the most important role that the instruments were going to play was to help express the meteorological conditions that already existed at the foundation of each song.”

A captivating blend of classic Americana and contemporary Alternative sounds, Vivian and her band are typically compared to the likes of the Cowboy Junkies, Emmylou Harris, Mazzy Star, Cat Power and beyond. Percussion, stand-up bass, classic keyboards/piano, steel and electric guitar lay the foundation for her "cracked and crystalline, gravel and gold dust" voice and acoustic guitar playing.

Under the guidance of producer Beck Henderer Pena, Vivian is joined on Watch the Light Fade by a capable crew of musicians, many of whom play in other well established bands: Eric Eagle (Laura Viers, Jesse Sykes, Downpilot), Jon Hyde (Transmissionary Six) and Bill Herzog (Jon Langford, Neko Case, Jesse Sykes, Sunn o))). Other collaborators include distinguished jazz organist Wayne Horvitz (John Zorn, Bill Frisell), composer/arranger Charlie Smith and her husband Michael McNaughton.

Vivian and her band continue to tour in the U.S. and play locally in support of the new album. Watch the Light Fade has been internationally promoted and distributed (via Tarnished Records and Carrot Top Distribution) and is receiving airplay on many national college, freeform and AAA stations.