On ‘S’, Emmy the Great’s first release since 2011’s ‘Virtue’, the Hong Kong-born Brooklyn-based artist is in a reflective mood. Recorded in varying cities around the world (Hong Kong, LA, New York and London), Emma-Lee Moss’ talent for storytelling never falters.
‘Swimming Pool’’s haunting minimalist production stirs as crashing drums and twinkling key’s juxtapose Emmy’s dreamlike, witty observations of “the sunshine, your tan line… and your blue swimming pool” which are echoed by Wild Beasts frontman Tom Flemming, whose ghostlike baritone vocals creep behind.
Here, the “rich kid” in question isn’t a singular love interest. Or at least it doesn’t seem to be. Instead, a comment on our ever-changing modern world – advancing at an unimaginable speed, as on ‘Social Halo’ Emmy ponders notions of social acceptance and resulting social anxiety in the modern world from the opening line, “Oh no, everything’s moving so close.”
On ‘Solar Panels’, a synth-driven piece on her transition to life in California, Emmy reflects on what it is that keeps us going; dreams which feel like a reality. EP closer ‘Somerset (I Can’t Get Over)’ hears her plead to a lover or the listener “please don’t get over me.”
As a taster for her imminent third album, Emmy has newly positioned herself, distancing herself from the ‘anti folk’ sound she once claimed with 2009 debut ‘First Love’.