My Music

Julia and I Don’t Want No Scrubs

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Hi friends!

For my most recent collaboration video, I asked my lovely friend Julia to come on over for tea and gossip, and of course, to sing! This collab was a no brainer, because not only do we get along famously while performing in her project, The Julia Tynes Band, but she is also such a confident, kind and just plain CLASSY AF woman.

In picking the song, Julia told me that ‘No Scrubs was the perfect song for us because we both are bringing the sass every day; morning noon and night!’

Maybe SASSY and CLASSY should be our new band name?

Usually when I arrange the songs for piano in these videos, I generally stick to the original chord progressions- however, in this song I really played around until I found a funky reharmonization that I loved. See if you can spot my stank face while playing the chorus progression. haha!

Hope you enjoy!

Love,

Emma

Snazzy Sax Solos with Chelsea McBride

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Hi friends!
Back at it here with another exciting collaboration video with Chelsea McBride. If you don’t know her, Chelsea is a dynamo in the Toronto and Vancouver music scene, leading three bands and performing in many others.

Talking about this video, Chelsea writes, “My introduction to Amy Winehouse – my real intro, anyways – was in a band called Shrinehouse, and Emma joined shortly after I started playing with them. So Paige Peters (the creator of Shrinehouse) is really the genius that introduced us, and since then I’ve been loving the vibe of playing Amy’s music – especially in a mostly female band. Emma’s a joy to work with on that music and we’ve been working together more lately so it felt right to pay tribute to where we first met!”

It’s true, I’ve met so many amazing musicians through Shrinehouse, and I’m just thrilled to be able to continue doing this series of collabs with my friends. Check out the video, and see if you can spot Trumpet, Chelsea’s adorable elephant companion, hiding out front and centre.

Love,

Emma

Joni Mitchell’s Morning Morgantown

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Matti Palonen is a wonderful trad/folk musician whom I’ve met through the songwriter scene here in Toronto. Although we’d met many times before, the filming of this video marked not only our first time playing music together, but also our first conversation lasting more than five minutes! That’s something I love about this friend-cover-collab series (wow, I need a better name) – getting to know friends in my community better. And I really LOVE playing music with my friends! YAY. It’s awesome.

Anyway, Matti suggested we learn  this Joni Mitchell song off of her album ‘Ladies of the Canyon,’ and I happily obliged.

Matti said of the song “Ladies of the Canyon was in my parent’s record collection so I have always loved the songwriting of Morning Morgantown.  It was an interesting challenge to adapt the guitar chords to the bandura. My main instrument is the Finnish kantele, and I have been taking up the Ukrainian bandura this year because it has a wider range and a different but familiar technique. “

So with that, enjoy our cover of Morning Morgantown!

Love

Emma

Donuts and Good Times with Kirk

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Kirk is such a stunner. So relaxed. So stylin’

I’ve been doing these little covers lately and I knew Kirk would be such a perfect fit for the vibe I want to set  — when we play together Shrinehouse (our Amy Winehouse tribute band), we’re most often found in the corner causing trouble with the other members of the rhythm section.

Kirk showed up to my house for this video with some brownies, some great documentary recommendations and the STRAIGHT CHILLIN acoustic bass you’ll see in the video.

He told me why he picked the song ‘Old Friends’ by Donuts.

[Kirk] “Donuts was a local Toronto band from the mid 2000’s. I first heard this song while my high school ska band was opening for them at the Cathedral. It was my first time seeing live reggae and my first time seeing live music while stoned (sorry mom), I was 16. I picked this song because I play it all the time and it gives me that really good nostalgia.”

Enjoy the vibes and comment if you love Donuts!

Love Emma

I’ll Be Your Emmylou

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Hi friends!

I’ve been really loving these collab videos, and one of the first people I asked to join me was my friend Gillian Smith. She’s one of the lovely vocalists in Shrinehouse, the Amy Winehouse Tribute band I’ve been part of for some time now.

Gillian is not only a gifted singer, but she also plays trumpet, and as I learned today, guitar! It was really nice for me to relax and just be a singer on this track while Gillian took care of the chords :p Not to mention, we had a great time just chatting and talking about how we both teach young students. It’s great to connect with other teachers.

Gillian suggested this song by First Aid Kit, the Swedish folk sister duo, and I’m glad she did because the harmonies are BEAUTIFUL. Here’s what Gillian had to say about the song: “I love First Aid Kit because they are sisters, and I learned many of their songs with my own sisters. Their music taught me to harmonize and really listen to those you are making music with. Emma and I chose the song ‘Emmylou’ because of the references to the love stories between musicians that we admire [Emmylou Harris & Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash & June Carter]. Plus the harmonies are beautiful and feel so nice to sing.’

 

I’ll definitely have Gillian back so I hope you enjoy this pairing!

Love Emma Louise (a.k.a. Emmylou)

BTW, if you’re my friend and want to sing with me, shoot me a message 🙂

Ryan kept asking ‘Remind Me’ what song we’re covering?

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Ryan Maguire is a friggin blast guys!

We met at a party in late 2018, and within 5 seconds began improvising songs together – talk about a creative connection! We’ve been playing so much that we decided to learn this really fun, upbeat song that was written and released in October of 2018 by Emily King. Her stuff is really musically interesting and uplifting, so check her out for sure.

THIS SONG IS HARD THOUGH. Ryan and I actually got together to record this on another day, and really loved the result, but just thought the final edit had one too many mistakes in it! The words are fast and rhythmically challenging, and switching between harmonies and melodies while singing with someone else is a feat in itself.

Here’s a shot of us in our first attempt…Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 12.41.59 PM.png

Haha, I try hard to make these good for you guys!

Here’s what Ryan has to say about the song: ‘The more we dove in, the more I loved learning the song. It’s very sneaky, super fun and very cleverly written, not to mention funky as hell. I’m so happy we did this collab because I got introduced to a great artist, and had a blast singing and hanging with Emma! It was really nice finding how our voices fit together, this song was great to explore that.’

Thank you Ryan and thanks everything for watching and reading!

 

Love,

Emma

Molly and I totally Gossip for 3 minutes straight about Kate’s Bush

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Oops, did I do a typo in the title? I meant to say Kate Bush, who is a hugely talented English artist who’s  put out nearly a dozen albums since the 1970’s. Wink wink.

When Molly Davis and I decided to collaborate, we almost instantly decided to cover Kate Bush’s iconic 1980’s song ‘Babooshka.’ For me, this song was nostalgic and powerful to record, because it was one of the first songs that I really resonated with as a kid. I didn’t understand why my dad was showing me a video of a woman jumping around with an upright bass in a tight golden suit, but I was into the music that’s for sure. And the song really holds up nearly 40 years later!!!!!

From Molly: “Kate Bush is mind boggling. The music she writes spans from melodic and catchy, to darkly bizarre, to arhythmic chaos, to sci-fi story songs, to deeply emotional love songs… to celtic jigs! She always seems so in control too, something about the way she holds herself that just says gently but firmly “I am here and you will listen.” I’m inspired by her confidence and how that confidence bleeds into her music.”

Back to Emma: This song was also really fun to record because Molly (who fronts the Molly Davis Band, and is a multi-instrumentalist in several other projects) always brings out the trouble-maker in me! She’s so fun. I really love doing skits and playing around with people who make me laugh, so this was an ideal project to record and collaborate on. THANK YOU MOLLY and thank you to my friends who follow this blog – means a lot 🙂

Love Emma