Linda Marie Smith
About Linda Marie Smith
Linda Smith's gentle but unconventional songwriting and experiments with four-track production in the late '80s found her at the beginning of a home-recording movement that would set the pace for decades of indie rock that followed. During her most active times, Smith's music was limited mostly to obscure cassette and 7" releases, but her early approach to bedroom pop was revisited on the 2021 retrospective compilation Til Another Time (1988-1996).
Smith was born and raised in Baltimore but relocated to Brooklyn, New York in the '80s. There she played in several bands, including the Silly Pillows and the Woods. She purchased a four-track cassette recorder to make demos to share with her bandmates, but quickly found herself drawn to the specific charms and limitations of home recording. The Woods disbanded around 1987, but Smith continued working on solo recordings, eventually collecting some of her earliest material on the 1987 cassette-only The Space Between the Buildings. Her sounds ranged from moody, ethereal balladry to fuzzy proto-indie, all of it bearing similarities to the C-86 movement and the burgeoning K Records scene of the same period. Throughout the late '80s and early '90s, Smith released multiple collections of her songs, including cassettes with small lo-fi labels Shrimper and her own Preference Recordings, her 1995 album Nothing Else Matters, and several 7" singles with indie labels Slumberland and Harriet Records. She continued making music into the 2000s, releasing two new albums, Emily's House and Something New!, in 2001 and collecting older material on compilations like 2014's All the Stars That Never Were. Smith remained active in music and her early home recordings received a new wave of attention in 2021 when Captured Tracks issued the retrospective collection Til Another Time (1988-1996). ~ Fred Thomas