What I’m Listening To: Emma Louise – Full Hearts & Empty Rooms

Written By Simon Chisholm

Emma Louise is a young independent artist from Brisbane. Her folk pop tunes are mind blowing-ly beautiful. At only 19 years old Emma Louise has already achieved more that us ‘bedroom musicians’ could dream of. At 15 she had already won two Q Sing Awards for her song writing, and she has played support for aussie heavy weights Sarah Blasko, Bob Evans and Boy and Bear with upcoming support for Josh Pyke. This release marks the next step for this young singer songwriter, and is the first of many more to come.

Emma Louise was suggested to me by a friend, and boy am I glad he made that suggestion! This E.P. is captivating from start to finish. These four songs take you on a ride over galloping melody lines, emotional tensions and breezy textures.

Emma demonstrates a large vocal range. Her galloping, free-feel approach to the melodies is playful. The freedom of the vocal is perfect. There is a complimentary mix of chest voice and falsetto, and it’s a good falsetto! ‘Bugs’ boasts some beautifully airy backing vocal ‘ooh’s’. There is some creative use of lyrical repetition.

Emma Louise has crafted the songs with an uncanny way of matching lyrical tone to the instrumental and  harmonic tone. One of these ways includes varying the textures when the vocal enters and exits.

The accompanying instrumental performances are skilled and well executed. Within the instrumentation there is a large amount of dynamic range, meaning that the ebb and flow of the music is both more dramatic and more complimenting of the tone of the tracks. The percussive elements littered throughout are fun, and well placed.

The standout track for me is ‘1000 Sundowns’. This was the track suggested to me. Historically, this track has stuck with Miss Louise since her time at high school. It is slow, sad and moving. There is an electric guitar arpeggio accompanying a symmetrical vocal contour. The harmonic movement of the track seems to have a swaying feel to it. The song is about a lost love, and Emma really gets into the mood, the vocal is strained and you can really hear the pain in her voice.

Overall, the E.P. is populated by honest, heartfelt, easy to listen to compositions. After listening you are left relaxed and smiling. The only bad thing worth mentioning is its too short! I await the next release with interest. Kudos Miss Louise.

‘Full Hearts & Empty Rooms’ released independently through MGM in 2011.

Produced by Mark Myers.

What I’m Listening To: Emma Louise – Full Hearts & Empty Rooms

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