JPR Live Session: Emmy The Great

Apr 15, 2016

The inventive, acoustic guitar-wielding folksinger Emma-Lee Moss was born in Hong Kong and later moved with her family to England, where she became a fixture of London's burgeoning anti-folk scene. Performing as Emmy the Great, her debut single, "Secret Circus," was released in 2006, followed in 2007 by the My Bad EP.

Her debut studio album arrived in 2009, titled First Love. In 2011, fueled by the unfortunate last-minute breakdown of an engagement, Moss wrote and recorded her second album Virtue. The follow-up was a step up in quality both sonically and thematically. She spent much of the next few years touring and traveling the world, which inspired her next release, the 2015 EP S, released by Bella Union.

Bella Union also issued her fourth LP, 2016's relationship-minded Second Love. The record displays a distinct nod to her debut in terms of the storytelling that first impressed her lyrical and emotional dexterity upon so many.  But on Second Love, Emma-Lee delves into the chambers of a human heart ever-connected to the glare of a nearby screen. This is an album imbued with modern sounds, a nod to new eras, while maintaining the human warmth always associated with an Emmy the Great album. The songs are full of emotion and questioning, with the chatter of friends and collaborators 'coded' into the sonic landscape.

Despite recording in tiny snatches, burrowing herself away in friend's bedrooms, borrowed studios and hotel rooms -- "If I had to write down the locations of every recording session the credits would have around 30 people's houses in it", says Emma.