Acoustic female singer/song writer emerging from the Aaahh Records stable, I assume I’m not the only one to immediately connect anyone who fits that description with Entertainment for the Braindead; an expectation which works as a bit of a double edged sword for Emilie Lund who’s just put out her first EP length effort with the label.
Firstly there was a dash of excitement when I started downloading the album, something which rarely happens with unknown CC artists in my experience starting, as I usually do, with a scatter gun approach of indifference and only the slightest of traces of openess and hope. So, all in her favour there. Then, however, came the instant comparisons with her label mate who remains one of my favourite musicians out there, CC or otherwise. Any similarity of style was bound to lead to comparison and, up against such illustrious competition, it’d be hard for Emilie to come out on top but sitting down now I do accept that to tie the two together is unfair on both so I’ll do my best to not place too much baggage on the newcomers shoulders.
So, Emilie Lund then, same musical school as EftB? Sort of. Instrumentally she’s taken a slightly ethereal but still tangiable line, not quite dragging the listener into an emotional corner as she does so and placing rather more of an emphasis on the vocal and lyrical side of things. No bad thing in this instance, given that the slightly retiring melodies leave the ground open for a fairly curious voice. It’s not an oddity, there’s no trademark eccentricity contained in Emilie’s tone but there is a slight edge which adds a noticably distinct quality. There’s a faint something throughout which I can only really compare to a personal trait, as opposed to an intended musical quality, the sort of thing you’d get from someone like Rachel Unthank or Bob Dylan, although no where as extreme as either of those two. It could, of course, just be the accent but mixed in with the almost apathetic feel which she sometimes displays I’d be inclined to suggest it more as product of the individuals personality than any general local influence. It is, however, hard to explain properly what I’m talking about. In case that wasn’t obvious.
The general feel of affairs is Folkish, albeit without the emotional indulgence which is often the mark of such a style. As I mentioned above in saying there was an almost apathetic feel to Emilie’s voice, the whole thing is more of a presentation than a search for empathy. There’s not much of an attempt to involve the listener with the intent instead seeming to be to simply have them listen as a personal experience, an instrospective experience. All good and a nice change from the sporadic artificiality of sentiment that you can find with Folk.
Lyrically there’s some depth but again it’s up to the listener to grant value to it. Given the undemanding tone of musical and voice there’s no imperative to follow a certain path with what’s being said, instead you either will find yourself submerging into the journey or you won’t, depending on what experiences you’re bringing to the musical table yourself. All of which I’ll add for the sake of reference is at least slightly different from the feel that emerges from an EftB album, where there’s a far more active sense of manipulation and linearity in what you’re supposed to feel. A difference in style there though, as opposed to one of quality. On that front I would be hard pressed to place Emilie Lund in competition with Julia (EftB); perhaps I’d offer the edge to the latter but that may simply be a personal preference built upon my own interaction and emotional involvement with her music, something which I may well find with the former too given longer and, preferably, more.
Anyway, very definitely worth a download, as with most Aaahh Records stuff of late and another gold star next to that labels name when it comes to their taste in Folk.