EMILY MAE WINTERS - FOREIGN WATERS EP
Release Date: 8th July, 2016
Genre: Folk, Americana, Acoustic, Singer-Songwriter
Every so often a debut EP is released which genuinely impresses and captures the imagination. A glimmering jewel, shining brightly with the promise of so much more to come. 'Foreign Waters' by singer-songwriter Emily Mae Winters is one of those rare gems. This wonderfully layered 4-track emotive and self-penned EP was produced by one half of BBC Radio 2 folk winning duo, Ben Walker. Ben has a magical touch on production, his work is always highly crafted and complements perfectly each of the artist that he works with. This EP is no exception, as Ben not only produces but also plays steel guitar and mandolin. Emily is also joined on the album by the very talented Matthew Atkins on violin and Maya McCourt on cello.
Born in England, Emily Mae Winters grew up Clonakilty, County Cork, where a love of acoustic music was nurtured and encouraged by the local scene and Emily developed a taste for live performance. Influenced by the sounds of traditional and contemporary Folk, Celtic, Country and Americana music, she learned to play the guitar, piano and whistle and began playing local music festivals . A return to London in 2009 to study History at The Royal Holloway saw her begin to flourish as a songwriter and in 2012 she was offered a place to study music and theatre at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD). From an early age, Emily also developed a deep love of poetry. After graduating she performed in numerous theatre productions across the UK whilst continuing to enter songwriting competitions and gigging in and around the heart of the acoustic and roots scene in London, quickly establishing herself as a writer and performer to be reckoned with. After completing her studies, that connection led to Emily working at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden and at Keats House Museum, Hampstead Heath. Emily is now based in Cambridge.
The EP starts with the award-winning 'Anchor' which won the folk category of the Guardian Music songwriting contest in association with Sony Music UK. One of my favourites on the EP, Emily’s sublime sweet and pure vocal builds in intensity from gentle finger-picked acoustic guitar as her vocal is joined by a wonderful string arrangements. Emily's love of poetry and lyrics shines through as she paints beautiful and deeply atmospheric word pictures.
Another very lovely written song is 'Miles To Go', a finalist in this year’s UK Songwriting contest. A love song spanning across the oceans, encouraging her lover to reach out, to explore new possibilities and met her halfway. "Like a moth to flame, I still stay close to you and I will wait for you across the water, but you’ve got miles to go". Watch out for the lovely steel guitar solo from Ben. Another song in a similar theme is the title track 'Foreign Waters'. It has a wonderful feel and could quite easily be part of a soundtrack to a theatrical production or TV drama. The EP ends with the piano driven 'Until The Light'. Another personal and tender song with sublime string arrangements which build throughout the song. "I shouldn’t walk alone at night, I drag my heels because the morning’s now in sight. I shouldn’t wait upon the skies. Dark colours captivate these eyes until the light".
With the promise of a highly anticipated new debut album 'Siren Serenade' to come in next year in April/May, I have the feeling that Emily has a very bright future ahead of her.