Another perspective on Love
British singer Emmy the Great has been known to explore the concept of love through her music from an array of angles. And when it comes to love, Emmy the Great is no amateur. Having quite the roller-coaster ride with ex-lovers, she has used her past experiences to create very personal pieces in her past albums First Love, 2009 and Virtue, 2011. First Love reflected a break-up at the time while Virtue told the story of how her finance’s religious conversion left her at the altar; not the best happy-after-alls.
However, what is nice about Emmy the Great is that she is not another Taylor Swift-type of songwriter. She doesn’t portray the break-up songs in a typical way with the mushy teenage feelings, the hearts in red lipstick and the James Dean-type boys. Gifted with expressing thoughts and emotions through very well written lyrics, Emmy the Great allows many of her listeners to relate with much more than head-nod to the beat.
Being five years since the release of her second album Virtue, Emmy has come back with another musical gem but this time with a bit of a electronic and synth touch to her sound. She has strayed away from her typical “folk” singer label to become more of a mature pop artist. In Second Love, she puts on a very Ingrid Michaelson with melodies similar to Lana Del Ray with the vocals of Marina and the Diamonds; a new but also very nice touch to her music style.
Duet with Tom Fleming, “Swimming Pool” starts the album in a very calming manner, both of their voices complementing each other with the synth piano cords playing in the back. “Heartbeat” explores the butterfly feelings when meeting a new crush, and has a very nice xylophone and guitar melody to accompany the cute lyrics. “Algorithm” definitely stands out in the album being a very single-worthy melody, and has a very nice build-up with drumbeats, guitar riffs, and piano chords that intensifies throughout the song. “Hyperlink” has a very ‘The 1975’ sound to it as it has a light tune accompanied by the electronic piano, synth guitar sounds with a very low base beat creating a ringing synth ambiance throughout the song. With heavy guitar riffs, “Social Halo” conveys the introvert worries on being out and about in the social sphere. “Dance w Me” features the friendly chatter of her roommates in the background, making it a very sweet and simple number. “Phoenixes” reminisces those teenage years when “[they] thought that Vogue was French for bible”, a song that has a very mellow piano background similar to her previous albums. One of the more upbeat songs on the album, “Part of Me” features up-tempo piano chords with a drum line. “Lost in You” plays around with electronic effects on the vocals and gives the album a very satisfying yet sentimental mood.
Second Love is an album where attention should also be put to the lyrics; it is a very interesting development in the love department for Emmy the Great from her previous albums. The album truly explores the millennial confusion with finding ‘the one’. It packs the mixed emotions, the butterflies, the contemplation, the ups and downs and the fears on love into a positive and open-ended album. The third album has definitely explored more and brought in a more synth and tech to her music, helping Emmy the Great achieve a more mature sound that is “in” for fellow millennial listeners. Overall, Second Love seems to be a new chapter for Emmy the Great on her romantic endeavors and we wish her the very best.