- Tue, 2012-05-15 11:59
My name is Emma. My band is called Emmy the Great. I'm guest editing I Like Music because the deluxe edition of my second album is out this week, and we made a single and a short film to go with it.
Also, I'm writing this because I like music. Not just on Facebook, and not just as a friend. I'm really into it. I want to date it, make love to it, meet its parents, charm its mother, marry the shit out of it and end up buried next to it in our family plot.
That's how I feel about music.
I'm going to leave you with my playlist now, and some thoughts about a song, an album and a video that I love. Hopefully you'll have some reaction to them too.
Click the play button below to launch the pop-out player and stream the Emmy The Great playlist, then scroll down to read her features...
The death of Adam Yauch last week rocked me in a way that celebrity deaths usually don't. He and his band were an icon of their age, and that age happened to be the one in which I learned what music was. Beastie Boys soundtracked much of my teenage years, and I was lucky enough to see them live twice. They had an incredibly ability to create statements that were both absurd and definitive, and some of my favourite lyrics of theirs are in this song, from Ill Communication - like 'What's up with the shoes on your feet?' or 'She's the cheese, and I'm the macaroni!'
This summer I am playing a festival in tribute to Joe Strummer and as part of it I had to help make a shrine in his honour. So last weekend, a group of us made pinatas in the shapes of things that reminded us of him, and mine was in the shape of a ghetto blaster. I ended up making it in tribute to Adam Yauch as well, because I feel like the Clash and the Beastie Boys shared something, in their respective, iconoclastic ways. On the bottom of the ghetto blaster, I wrote 'Know Your Rights' and 'Fight For Your Right to Party'.
These people live on in their words and their music.
Every few months I have the joy of falling in love with a new album, and not listening to anything but that album for days and days on repeat. That happened to me recently with this album from J. Tillman, formerly of Fleet Foxes, now recording under the name Father John Misty.
I've got a penchant for a very particular kind of album. I like songs that shed light about something I don't know, a human experience that is different from mine. I especially like handsome men singing sardonic songs about being cads in upmarket, glamorous situations. It's one of the reasons I love Paul Simon's Graceland, and it's why I have listened to Rufus Wainwright's Want Two eight hundred thousand times.
So Father John Misty, singing about taking hallucinogens with actresses in Hollywood is a welcome addition to my collection. He's a funny lyricist too. One of the few people who can get away with making you laugh out loud in a song, without drifting into comedy music.
It's difficult choosing my favourite Weezer video. Academically it should be one of the early Spike Jonze videos, or I could have picked Pork and Beans, because it so perfectly spoofs an era of Internet videos that is just far enough gone now to feel nostalgic. I also love the MTV performance of 'Greatest Man That Ever Lived' that they did to promote the Red album, where Pat Wilson is just casually holding a ghetto blaster, and Rivers lip synchs holding a basketball, and sporting a truly wispy moustache.
BUT Keep Fishin' is an underrated favourite song of mine, and the video does star the cast of the Muppets, so...
A key mover in the scene that birthed the recent wave of new British folk acts, and a sometime member of Noah and The Whale, Emmy The Great has gathered a cult following with her engaging and intelligent take on indie-pop. Her second album, Virtue, was first released in 2011, replete with the idiosyncratic lyrical style that has become her trademark: sometimes whimsical, sometimes humorous, always poetic. Virtue is now being re-issued as a deluxe edition, with new tracks and a short film to accompany it.
Keep up to date with all things Emmy The Great at www.emmythegreat.com.