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Columbus’ own: Linden Hollow is all about the earthy vibes

Linden Hollow features Emily Ng (left) Rebecca McCusker (center) and Paige Vandivergains (right). Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca McCusker

For a folksy rock group that gains much of its inspiration from nature, Linden Hollow is a fitting name —  linden trees live hundreds of years, hollowing out as they age.

“We kind of fancy ourselves forest witches,” said Rebecca McCusker, the group’s frontwoman.

The group’s self-described haunting, earthy folk sounds are influenced by a range of artists from Regina Spektor to the Avett Brothers to The Beatles. When it comes to her songwriting, McCusker is inspired by piano-pop artists like Elton John and Billy Joel.

For McCusker, songwriting works as an outlet to help her relax and focus in times of anger and anxiety, which often stem from personal relationships.

“I would love to write a song that’s like ‘Walkin’ on Sunshine,’ but that’s just not me I guess —  maybe someday,” McCusker said, adding: “Maybe that’s because I’m an introvert, maybe it’s because I live in the forest but either way it’s very much a normal theme that I’m seeing emerge, is like, ‘These people are either making me mad or stressing me out or making me anxious so I’m gonna go enjoy solitude in nature.’”

Despite McCusker’s “need to get away from people,” the members of Linden Hollow enjoy each other’s company, eating pizza and drinking wine throughout much of their designated practice time.

“It was seriously luck of the draw with these two,” McCusker said of drummer Paige Vandiver and bassist Emily Ng.

Ng and Vandiver had been playing together in local Americana band The Salty Caramels when Ng responded to McCusker’s Facebook post searching for a drummer and a bassist in 2016.  McCusker had specifically been looking for female artists.

“Being in a band is very intimate. It is a relationship. It is hopefully sustaining, ongoing… Guys can be so weird about some stuff and I didn’t wanna deal with that entire thing,” McCusker said.  “I wanted it to be simple and I wanted it to be about the music.”

Though the group started out playing live shows, Linden Hollow’s sound evolved while recording “Luna,” its debut EP.

“Now, we depend on each other a little more than we used to,” Vandiver said.

The group’s six-song debut album incorporated songs that McCusker had written throughout various stages of her life, but were revamped to incorporate more rhythm with the help of Ng and Vandiver.

The group hopes to get back in the studio soon, but whether its next release will be a full-length album, an EP or a few singles is uncertain.

“Right now we have some little baby songs in the works,” McCusker said.

Linden Hollow will perform at 9 p.m. on April 26 at Big Room Bar. Admission is free.

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