LCM ALBUM OF THE MONTH - JULY 2019
HIGH ROMANCE - EMILY MAE WINTERS
Artist: Emily Mae Winters
Release Date: 19th July, 2019
Record Label: Emily Mae Winters (Independent)
‘High Romance’ the highly anticipated second album from London based singer-songwriter Emily Mae Winters. This time it sees her focus a more Transatlantic Americana sound demonstrating her versatility. It adds more layers and texture to her more folk based debut album ‘Siren Serenade’.
The album was recorded at the Urchin Studios in London with an excellent team of musicians including Ben Walker, John (‘JP’) Parker and Matt Ingrams who all provide the perfect backing to Emily’s music. The award winning Matt (Florence and the Machine, Lucy Rose, Laura Marling and The Staves) also produced the album.
‘High Romance’ is being supported by the PRS Emerging Artist Award as well as EFDSS (English Folk Song and Dance Society) Creative Seed Fund.
I think one thing that really stands out is this album really showcases Emily’s wonderfully pure vocals, skilled songwriting and arrangements. Rich transatlantic soundscapes and story telling blended with straight-to-the-heart bitter-sweetness. These new songs deal with a wide range of subjects, which in some way examines the many meanings and concepts of ‘romance’. On this album you will not necessarily find a host of regular love songs. Instead you will hear songs which deal with sunshine and rain, the movement of people, the struggles of modern technology, growing up, following your dreams, travelling and being on the road……‘love’ in all it’s different forms.
Emily comments: “In one of my favourite poems by the English romantic poet John Keats: ‘When I Have Fears’, he looks up at the night sky as his dying day approaches and sees ‘Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance’. He worries that he and his pen will not live long enough to trace them all. I’ve always been a ‘hopeless romantic’ but I think the older I get, the more the meaning of that phrase changes for me.”
With JP’s bowed double bass and single repeated piano note the album opens with ‘Come In My Heart And Pay No Rent’ based on a traditional Irish poem by Samuel Lover. Ben’s electric guitar and Matt’s drums give the song a rockier feel.
The atmospheric and reflective ‘This Land’ deals with displacement, making a new place home and everyone’s desire for the need to belong. ‘Would The World Stop Turning’ is a brutally honest personal insight into the life of a touring musician with all its many up and downs. ‘This ain’t a story. It’s my life!’. Emily sings. The pace quicken for one of my favourites the Country Rock ‘Wildire’.
One of the oldest songs on the album is the fantastic ‘Gin Tingles and Whiskey Shivers’ dating from the time Emily fronted another Americana band. I love the percussion on this track and its hypnotic hook. Another album stand-out is the excellent ‘How Do You Fix A Broken Sun?’ Emily is wonderful at using literary references and metaphors, and in this song the sun stands as a metaphor for your burning inner spirit. The song also explores the human condition, current world events and the sense of personal hopelessness that they generate. Sometimes less is more, the gentle and reflective ‘Take Me In’ has a simple repeated guitar melody, with JP’s rich double bass refrains adding a sense of melancholy.
The powerful and rocky ‘Flaming Rose’ tells the tale of Rose who works in telesales during the day and has a ambition to run away with the circus. It’s a real live crowd favourite and another one of the album stand-outs. Country Rock and Blues combining for a breath-taking experience. The high energy ‘Closer’ with it’s hand claps and driving percussion explores someone coming to terms with the end of an old relationship and then willing to start again with someone new. The beautiful ‘Across The Wire’ explores how people communicate and meet up in the modern internet based world. The album closes with another beautiful song ‘One Of These Days’
Emily is certainly a wonderfully talented singer-songwriter who marking her mark in the UK Americana and Folk scene. If this album is any indication, Emily is heading to be one of leading lights of the future.
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