Saturday, January 16, 2010

Albums Of The Year 2009 - No. 2!


I first heard the gorgeous Emmy during Adam & Joe's Glastonbury radio show. Sitting in a noisy field, she strummed away on an acoustic guitar and sang the single 'First Love'; a tragic yet comic account of a relationship that was saved by a love of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'. The sound was ramshackle at best, marred by wind noise and rowdy passers by. And I was in love.

The true brilliance of Emmy is not the best/most powerful voice you've ever heard, or the cleverest guitar work. It's the absolute honesty and use of storytelling in her work. She uses humour like other artists use a paintbrush or a guitar solo, then suddenly undercuts it with the harsh realities of daily life. And she is keenly aware of the humour you can find when looking back at your toughest times, yet isn't afraid to wrap it all up in music so beautiful that it becomes her greatest weapon - it catches you off guard.

'We Almost Had A Baby' is a chilling assault on a former lover who "didn't stop" and resulted in a pregnancy scare, but it's given to us in a 50's doo-wop style that wouldn't be out of place in Grease. 'Dylan' tells of feuding brothers, but in an upbeat bluegrass tempo. And in the afore-mentioned 'First Love' she name checks the song 'Hallelujah' but even takes the time to make sure we know she's talking about "the original Leonard Cohen version". In an age when awards are being chucked at every female solo artist, it's refreshing and important to find one that actually deserves it.


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