Emmy The Great – Second Love Review

 

 

Second Love is the third studio album from the subtly eccentric singer-songwriter Emmy The Great. With her recent EP S, she took on more electronic influences to her sound and this included a more clean cut production and a greater sense of scale and tone to her sound. This backs up her witty and enigmatic lyrics and her casual vocal delivery. It is clear that her third album will build on this foundation from last year’s EP. It’ll be intriguing how this sound stacks up against some of the other folk-influenced artists who have turned to more inclusive production and electronically tinged sounds.
‘Swimming Pool’ is evocative of the sparse, floating soundscapes of a the Raveonettes with heavily smoothed out harps and riffs with an echo which resonates across the track. More tangible beats emerge from this misty musical haze as do Emmy’s vocals. They give off a slightly quivered sound that meanders amongst the muted beats in an understated, yet clear fashion. A highly considered and simple track given a greater depth by Emmy. ‘Algorithm’ features acoustic and regular riffs with greater clarity with bass drum beats being elevated along with the gradual elevation of the bass line to accentuate the growing rhythmic quality of the song. Prominent piano chords and subtle electronics carry the song on it’s progression as the sound rises and harmonised backing vocals add to the melodic quality of the song.
‘Dance w Me’ offers up darker synth tones and shifting beats with acoustic features. From this light base extends the flourishing vocal instrumentation and sweeping production of the acoustic chords. In this phase Emmy gradually raises the volume of her vocal and remains restrained and casual whilst giving the essence of wistful power. ‘Less Than Three’ encapsulates an ever so lightly distorted guitar and popping beats from which to smooth her delicately melodic vocal across. The song completely drops away before bringing in the more rhythmic, yet steady riffs and a double tracked vocal to highlight the chorus. It is a brilliantly considered track that masters the minimalistic approach. ‘Hyperlink’ similarly makes use of raw instrumentation in conjunction with inclusive production as reverberating beats and rising synths set around a steady, motoring riff. This arrangement only highlights the delicacy of the vocals on show. ‘Social Halo’ carries this out with a more wiry guitar sound with sharp reverberating overtures tearing across the track. The vocals cleverly double track at this point in order to be heard over the power bursts of sound. The track provides great volume and power without abandoning their minimalistic structure. The lyrics across this track and the the album remain witty in their retrospection and observation of others behaviour. It is an album that deceptively basic, but often surprises you with the power and equally, the intricacy it delivers. Emmy The Great’s best effort yet.
Emmy The Great – Second Love = 8.5/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

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