Emmy the Great at Islington Assembly Hall
Following a recent hiatus, Emmy the Great is back in full swing with her new album Second Love, a contemplative and contemporary sound stimulated by her personal evolution as both artist and individual. As she takes her place on stage, ready to share her story, she resonates a sense of stillness and calm. The crowd members smile in contentment, as though they have come to see a friend play.
The venue is warm and inviting, and for a sold-out performance, there is a surprising amount of space around which to meander and enjoy the view from wherever one pleases, without any pushing or shoving. The audience are a real mixed bag, but are genuine lovers of the music and, it seems, Emmy as a person. She effortlessly engages the crowd with her backstories, personal experiences and inspiration for the songs, in a gentle voice and with humorous anecdotes, at times even inviting crowd participation.
Emmy opens with her solo of The Hypnotist’s Son, the vocals of which are enchanting, with a beautiful balance of reverb and delay that everyone stops in their tracks to listen to. The band then join in from song two, Dinosaur Sex, and deliver a range of pop and folk tales – old and new, some more captivating than others – including Part of Me, a hypnotic fairground tale of love and isolation, Social Halo which is comically introduced as “a song about texting”, and We Almost Had a Baby, which transports the viewer back to a 50s prom, with disco ball lights glittering around the auditorium. The warm harmonies of Algorithm and Tom Fleming’s appearance for crowd pleaser Swimming Pool are pleasantly received, but First Love is the resolute favourite of the night, along with encore number Canopies and Grapes, which receives huge applause at the mention of Bowie (RIP), and 2009 hit MIA.
Bearing a likeness to contemporary artists Lana del Ray and FKA Twigs, but more charming than edgy, Emmy the Great demonstrates her flair for songwriting, and delivers a contemporary soundscape that feels like it would be an ideal soundtrack for a long journey, with downtempo, mellow beats that cross genres of dream pop, indie folk and in some instances, modern day RnB.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about Emmy the Great and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Algorithm here: