Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Emmy the Great, Take Two

Emmy the Great
First Love
Released February 9 2009 on Close Harbour

Emmy on MySpace
Video for "First Love"

Emmy the Great is quite a name to live up to. Lucky for us, this UK vixen delivers. I stumbled across her video for "First Love", the first single from, and title track of her new album, last month and melted. The video may be indie girl 101 complete with cut-outs of trees and umbrellas, but the song certainly was not. In fact, it hooked me immediately. Needing to hear more, I tapped my resources and came up holding a copy of her new album. I was not sad.

Emmy the Great, born Emma Lee-Moss, had been frequenting the London underground scene for years as a solo artist. After the release of her first single, "Gabriel", she turned that mother out and went full collaborative ensemble. That was 2007 and now we see the release of the band's first album, First Love, on Close Harbour. It hasn't been released in the states yet which is a darn-tootin' shame, but Emmy is undoubtedly sure to catch on soon enough.

First Love is an album teeming with superlative songwriting and abstracted story-telling. The album title maybe sounds indie girl 101 as well, but it's actually taken from Samuel Beckett's depressing novella about a violently misogynistic lover! If you aren't familiar with anti-folk, this album will break you in nicely. It is lyrically raw, self-mocking, and ironic in the best way possible.

Musically the album is quirky and creative. My one critique is that it's mood lacks a certain uniformity. Track one sounds happy; track two is almost enough to sink one into a deep depression. But that's not to say I don't like the bi-polar nature of the album. It keeps it interesting. And because the album tells a story of a destructive but character-forming real-life relationship, the bipolar affect is probably true to the roller coaster that defines first love. I just wish that maybe it was a real record with a side A and a side B.

Regardless, First Love delivers. Anyone who pens a tune detailing a near-fatal car crash and the absurd things that enters ones mind in those moments that immediately follow (is her name Mia or M.I.A?), is super fine by me.

First posted on Indierockreviews.com the best darn music website around.

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