Our current generation of musicians is lacking something: it’s not guitarists, it’s not computers, it’s not drum machines, and it’s certainly not auto-tune: We’re missing poets. A modern lyricist who can talk about imagination, emotion, and thoughts without resorting to blunt clichés or exhausted stories is rare. However, indie-folk songwriter Emmy the Great helps fight against that dilution with her new album, Virtue.
To contrast against her impressive debut album (First Love), Virtue is more developed musically. While First Love was predominantly characterized by acoustic guitar riffs with occasional string/piano/drum arrangements, Virtue has a far-deeper rhythmic texture. The album’s production is meticulous and atmospheric, yet it is still subtle enough to let Emmy’s lyrics and singing remain the focal point. One thing Emmy does not experiment with is voice-distorting or modulating features as her words are clear and easy to understand; she lets the labor lay in interpretation rather than decipherment.
I have a feeling that Emma Lee Moss (Emmy the Great’s real name) will sneak up on the general public over time. She has proven a few times now that she knows how make intelligent yet authentic, accessible music. It will be really exciting to see how her career progresses. In the meantime, we have an excellent installment that will keep us satisfied for a while.
Written by Harrison DeSantis for Culture & Technology Review
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