Lilac Everything, the third album from singer-songwriter Emma Louise, is somewhat difficult to describe without focusing on its immediately apparent artificially pitched down vocals.

One can be forgiven for feeling bewildered and confused after a single listen of this album; deep vocals, both unfamiliar and unrelenting, feature on every single track, except for the instrumental ‘Solitude’ which hangs mysteriously with an expectant air. This significant shift in sound lends itself to the obvious question – whose is this voice anyway? It’s Louise’s voice of course, just not the way it’s been heard before.

First single ‘Wish You Well’ is absolutely gorgeous in its simplicity, teems with emotion, while ‘Falling Apart’ is heavily drenched in soul. By spontaneously booking a flight to Mexico and taking off a mere three days later, Louise sparked within herself a creative flurry, writing most of Lilac Everything over there as a result.

Her physical surrounds infiltrate her music most on ‘Gentleman,’ a track that light-heartedly strums its way into the heart of Mexico with its rhythm and clicking percussion. Conversely, ‘Mexico’ carries with it a melancholic undertone and pulses with a brooding intensity reminiscent of Elbow.

‘Just The Way I Am’ is lyrically beautiful and full, much like Louise’s previous releases, while ‘Never Making Plans Again’ could have easily been penned for Norah Jones.

As the album draws to a close, ‘A Book Left Open In A Wild Field Of Flowers’ provides warmth as it morphs into a subdued underwater-like reverie of poetic musicality.

This album stands on its own, no crutch or aid necessary, no explanation required. It is simply a beautifully written and produced album that warrants time and attention.

9/10

This article was first published in Beat Magazine


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