Mandolynne Shakes the Alternative Scene With Her Intense Single, "The Pines"

Coming from Hamilton, Ontario, the emerging Alternative Singer/Songwriter Mandolynne shares her heart with us through her latest single, "The Pines."

Infusing her music with moody atmospheres and real-life experiences makes Mandolynne's brand all the more intriguing to anyone who geeks out on Alternative. Using writing to help cope with past trauma, Mandolynne offers lived experiences to help listeners heal.

Her latest release "The Pines" takes listeners on a truly dynamic and unexpected journey. With an atmosphere perfect for this time of year, Mandolynne pushes through with power and resilience over soulful instrumentation while offering listeners a safe space through her genuine lyricism.

"The Pines" sweetly opens with bluesy acoustic and electric guitar soulfully strumming away alongside Mandolynne's sultry and airy vocals. Jumping into her lyrical message, Mandolynne offers a saddening story of searching for someone who's long gone. 

Filling the song with incredible space through the droning electric guitar melodies that sprinkle down from above and a reflective down-tempo beat, we're truly lost in the moody and dark atmosphere that Mandolynne provides. Before we know it, the instrumentals deliver a massive switch in sound and energy through scorching hot electric guitar chords and a quickly-paced beat.

Once the entire blistering instrumental sets in, we can't get out of the atmosphere as it's not only irresistible, but it defies many boundaries in Alternative music through a sharp Rock edge. 

We're deeply submerged in the depths of Mandolynne's authentic sound, especially with her powerhouse single "The Pines," it would be an understatement to say that we're impressed with such a raw, emotional, yet stimulating piece.

We can't get our ears off of your intense release, "The Pines." Could you take us through the song's lyricism, and the concept behind your words?

Ah, thank you so much! This is a loaded question! I originally wrote this song during a very dark time in my healing journey. I was going through a really shitty breakup and confronting a lot of my inner demons.

Initially, it started as an “f you” anthem directed at my parents/abusers. It was meant to be a way to release all of the pain I was feeling. I’ve always been really empathetic, and as a result tend to turn inwards when I’m feeling anything, and usually end up hurting myself. Through some self-exploration, I realized I was actually harboring a lot of resentment towards these people for my upbringing, and the psychological impact it’s had on me as an adult. This song was a way to let go.

Once I started arranging it and reflecting on the lyrics I ultimately came to realize that this song was more about self-reflection, learning to break the cycle, and stepping into your power. The lyrics are essentially a reflection of me going through this process.

Within your single "The Pines," you offer this powerful instrumental switch up around the mid-way point. Why did you want to add this switch up to end the song off with heat?

For me, the only way to authentically express myself was to come up with a vision that accurately depicted what I was emotionally feeling at the time. I worked with musicians to develop parts and create what I felt my journey sounded like. Coming to terms with your past and stepping into your power is a complex journey, and by no means is it a linear or predictable path. I wanted to develop an arrangement that explored and showcased that.

Seeing as your single "The Pines" touches on genres like Alternative, Rock, and Blues, did anything/anyone inspire this unique sonic route?

Oh, wow! I literally listen to everything under the sun, moon, and stars! I would say absolutely, yes! All that I have listened to has in some way or another shaped my approach and style to writing/arranging. I would say that my biggest influences have been bands/artists such as Metric, Radiohead, Cat Power, and Placebo. Also, during my time in music school I had an Arts and Culture class that opened me up to the Blues, and honestly, it resonated so deeply with me. That class truly pushed me to embrace and explore my unique sound- without fear, just grit.

We've heard that you look towards writing to help cope with past trauma. When it comes to trauma and writing about it, is there a fine line between sharing with listeners and being 'too' vulnerable? Or has your past made you comfortable with vulnerability?

Ah, this is a wonderful question. I think that boundaries are important. It is not our job to share our stories, and it is not our job as artists to share anything that we’re not personally comfortable with. We are under no obligation to expose parts of us that could somehow overstep a personal boundary we’ve set for ourselves; I just want to say, that I have insane amounts of respect for people who write light-hearted songs, that shit is a challenge!

That being said, personally, I’ve had very cathartic experiences processing my trauma through music. I’ve also had very beautiful interactions and have connected with others by openly sharing my experiences with them. I think finding a form of expression and running with it is imperative, and has been crucial for my healing. Haha, ahh, I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable with being vulnerable, in fact, I would say quite the contrary… but I think that’s what aids in my healing process. I think for me feeling uncomfortable is a necessary part of growth, creativity, and connection. Otherwise, I would never leave my room, release music, or speak to a soul. ;)

This year has been extremely difficult for the music industry. What has been your biggest source of inspiration while creating new music this year?

This has been a heavy year, to say the least. All of the injustice in the world, covid fatigue, people losing their loved ones, jobs, venues… and this collective trauma that we’re all experiencing is, well, heavy. For me, that heaviness needs somewhere to go.

This year has gifted me with a lot of extra time to process and shape my project. So, I guess my biggest source of inspiration has been time. Time to sit, time to educate me, time to process, and time to release all that has been weighing me down. I do miss performing live though, and can’t wait to get back to that when it’s safe to do so! Last thing! Everyone, please find ways to support your local venues. Let’s keep them standing.