Album Review: Emmy The Great – ‘Virtue’

A poor modernisation of classic folk sounds

For someone whose folk songs are admirably rooted in today’s world, Emma-Lee Moss should have absolutely no trouble dressing her ideas in nowadays clothing: a bit of mooey synth here, a pillowy wash of twinkles there, maybe even a disco pulse for good measure. Where’s the harm?

Well, the harm is all over this accidentally dreary album, unfortunately. Sprightly melodies get flattened under portentous whalesong noises (‘Creation’), tremulous guitars buzz about, dragging at the ear, and that disco pulse (‘Sylvia’) all but trips up the song it is designed to embellish. Which means, of course, it’s the unencumbered songs – ‘Paper Forest’, ‘Trellick Tower’ – which fly furthest.

Fraser McAlpine

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