Originally published at LSMedia
Since my first listen some months ago, I’ve always known that Emmy the Great was a talented, young musician. With an already impressive repertoire of songs under her belt and an almost naïve charm about her music, she’s an artist truly unlike any other. With this in mind, I jumped at the chance to review her live at the Liverpool University Guild and walking into the Stanley Theatre, I was both excited and intrigued to discover what her live performances would entail.
Before long Emmy appears, sporting a baggy Iron Maiden top, channeling her inner rocker it would seem. She held such a casual tone with the audience, chatting in between her songs and demonstrating what a relaxed and natural born performer she is. Playing a selection of songs from both her debut and latest album, her haunting lyrics and effortless vocals filled the hall to the extent to which you could have heard a pin drop. I don’t think I’ve ever before been at a gig where the audience are so spellbound and engrossed in an artist like they were with Emmy the Great.
My favourite performance of the night was without a doubt the song MIA. She introduced the song by speaking of how she was, in her own words, ‘pissed off’ with British singer-songwriter M.I.A after she tweeted “I’m going down to the (London) riots to hand out tea and Mars bars”. This provoked Emmy to subsequently change the lyrics of the song to reflect her anger towards the artist. The song clearly communicates her sense of frustration with the lyrics: “how long do I stay in this place, who’s going to wash all the blood from my clothes”. This raw emotion wholly illustrates a level of lyrical maturity beyond her years and demonstrates her unique ability to craft simple yet poignant lyrics that both reach out to and touch her listeners.
Another highly enjoyable and memorable performance of the night was Emmy’s cover of Weezer’s Island in the Sun. She sings every word with such conviction and passion that you would be forgiven for believing it was a song of her own creation. Accompanied by a talented range of backing singers and musicians, the on-stage chemistry that the quintet clearly have, only adds to the relaxed and casual atmosphere of the performance.
The evening itself was one to be remembered. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I don’t think I’ve ever before been at a gig where the audience are so spellbound and engrossed in an artist like they were with Emmy the Great.