Emmy The Great - 'Second Love' Review
Emma-Lee Moss’ epic exploration of tech vs humans
You can understand Emmy The Great wanting to get lost in the machine – her first two albums were driven by heartbreak. ‘First Love’ in 2009 detailed the fallout of a mid-twenties relationship, while 2011’s ‘Virtue’ was preceded by her atheist fiancé converting to Christianity and cancelling their wedding.
‘Second Love’ was originally planned to tackle advancing technology. Composed while touring, its sparse electronics speak of deserted airports and laptop-lit hotel rooms, of cold connections and unwanted updates. Emma-Lee Moss wasn’t made for the swipe-right age, though – emotion soon flooded in.
“Love is the answer in the end,” she sings on ‘Hyperlink’, humanising the computer-softened sounds favoured by FKA Twigs and Alt-J. Her romantic nuances create life and humanity. ‘Swimming Pool’, featuring Wild Beasts’ Tom Fleming, feeds a phantom flamenco guitar through a synthetic filter while Emmy whispers, “Now I’ve seen you here I don’t know how I even used to be alive.” ‘Algorithm’ describes love as “pumping through my heart like an algorithm”, while ‘Phoenixes’ reminisces about fashion-obsessed teenage years.
Both muted and epic, ‘Second Love’ foresees a future where torch singers are forlorn replicants and a post-human’s ElectroFolk.2 port is hard-wired to its heart. You’ll believe they can 3D-print love songs now.
Record label: Bella Union
Release date: 11 Mar, 2016