Emmy The Great


Emmy the Great is at a pivotal moment in her career. Six years after debut album, First Love, established her on the bustling London anti-folk scene, and just months before the release of her third full-length, she remains to this point a somewhat peripheral figure. In those six years, acts like Mumford & Sons, Noah & The Whale and Laura Marling have become bestsellers, whilst Emmy still lurks in the shadows. That may very well be where she is happiest, but in recent interviews she has spoken of her new-found extroversion – a desire to share her music like never before. If she is to make the step into the bright lights, it will, you feel, have to happen this year.

The year begins for Emmy – aka Emma-Lee Moss – with the release of the EP, S and this accompanying mini-tour. The Deaf Institute hums with a crisp, January freshness, most of its inhabitants likely taking in their first live music of the new year. A questionably nervy opening is soon smoothed over with talk of Manchester being a second home for Emmy (many of her earliest recordings were made in The Earlies’ studio in Burnley), consolidated with an enthusiastically received ‘Paper Forest’ from underrated second LP Virtue.

The 40min set bristles with energy most when Emmy, joined on stage by her brother Robin Moss on guitar and Mikal Evans on keys, plays the new material. The cynical, anti-materialist California critique ‘Solar Panels’, the brooding ‘Somerset (I Can’t Get Over)’ and the sparkling ‘Social Halo’, replete with two choreographed dancing holograms of Emmy projected over the backdrop, are all highlights. The main set is brought to an elegant close with the slow-building, spectral radio single, ‘Swimming Pool’.

 The encore is for the Emmy the Great purists. After kicking back into action with 2009 b-side ‘Canopies and Grapes’, she puts the rest of the setlist up for a vote. Truth told, all the contenders are received with similar conviction, but it’s ‘Edward is Dedward’ and the haunting, Tori Amos-like earworm ‘Trellick Tower’ that Emmy decides win the day. One final burst of energy for ‘We Almost Had a Baby’ and the night is over in short order. The assuredness of Emma-Less Moss as a bandleader and on-stage presence is in no doubt, and with potentially her biggest album just around the corner, 2015 just may be her moment to shine.

Emmy The Great  Official | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Max Pilley

I'm a refugee in Manchester, having successfully escaped Birmingham in 2007. I'm a soon-to-be journalism student, used to edit the music section of the Manchester Uni paper, and have done a little radio production to boot. I've been adding bits and pieces to Silent Radio since 2012, mostly gig reviews, but a few albums too. Also hoping now to get involved with the brilliant radio show. When doing none of that, you can usually find me at some gig venue somewhere around town.