Lately I’ve been really excited by the idea of collaborating with other musicians, specifically to record live covers. So naturally, when I was brainstorming who I would most want to work with, Paige Peters, the mega-powerhouse vocalist and founder of the group Shrinehouse (a 7-piece Amy Winehouse tribute band that I play keyboard for) immediately came to mind.
Paige pretty much right away suggested ‘Too Beautiful to be Good,’ a 1968 Franciene Thomas song that I had never heard of before, when I asked her what she would like to sing with me. But once I listened to the song I loved it’s feminist message.
To me, it seems that Franciene is angry that sometimes women who take a lot of pride in their appearance are stigmatized, and often seen as vain, less-than, and empty. I honestly can relate. Many times, even here in the Toronto music scene, men have assumed that I am less capable because I am a woman, because I like fashion, or because I am a singer (and therefore probably not a competent instrumentalist as well). How maddening.
Anyway, I loved the song for that reason, and also for its rich arrangement, complete with horns and flutes.
Working with Paige was so easy considering that we’ve been playing and gigging together for over a year. Once I transcribed the chords, we sorted out our parts and did about 2 run-throughs before recording this version in ONE TAKE. It was so fun. I honestly had tears ROLLING down my face from laughing so hard. This girl is so enigmatic and talented. Whew!
After Paige and I recorded the song, I asked her what her process was coming into the session with me. She said, ‘I’m haunted by Thomas’ voice in the recording, so I tried to emulate it in our version. I had listened to Pink Floyd the night before [we recorded], in particular Clare Torry’s truly Awesome vocal performance in ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’. Clare Torry said she tried to make her voice an instrument for the track she recorded for Pink Floyd, so it inspired me to do the same when emulating the flute part on our cover.”
Hope you enjoy the song!
‘Ello sneaky people!
I haven’t posted in a really really long time. I originally envisioned this website to be in service to my songwriting – and when I put that on the back-burner a year and a half ago, I stopped updating this site. Sorry, duuudes.
But this site is not here just to serve my songwriting, it’s in service of me and my community. THIS WEBSITE IS MY SERVANT. Serve me, peasant!
So, with no real insight other than, YO GUYS I’M STILL ALIVE, and HEY, I HAVE A WEBSTE, I’m feeling like sharing some of what I’ve been up to lately…
1. GOAT SIGHTINGS WITH MUSH AND YUGS
2. GRENADIER POND + AUNTS = PRETTY NICE LIL’ JAUNT
Cutie sunshine High Park sisters. Their cool cuz they have their hands in their pockets.
3. AND LASTLY, HERE’S A SEXY PIC TO KEEP YA GOIN’
So humbling when you open the camera by accident.
Das’ it, peeps.
Here’s a little improvisation I did awhile ago after watching the film Ernest & Celestine. It was a cute little movie that made me feel incredibly peaceful and grateful for the friendships in my life. Improvisation with intention!
On July 1st, 2015, I moved into my first bachelor apartment, eager to begin a new chapter in my life. This wasn’t the only big change in my life – I had also just quit my day job to focus on music, and between that and living alone, I knew I was going to have a lot of time on my hands. So it was with this in mind, that I decided to go without internet at my home for two months. I didn’t want my productivity to be zapped with Facebook scrolling and movies all day. I also wanted an excuse to get out of the house now that I had no roommates. So, here I am, September 1st, my first day at home with Internet, and I think I learned some useful stuff. Here are my top tips:
- Youtubing Justin Bieber on repeat from your phone while you’re unpacking will use up all of your data. In one day.
- Laundromats usually have free Wifi.
- Laundromats have owners that will start to recognize you if you keep going in solely to use their free Wifi.
- A lot of time, when you think you want to go on social media, you really just need a nap.You may be part cat.
- Being bored, lonely, and sad are emotions worth paying attention to. Sometimes we distract ourselves from these when we should put our attention on finding healthy ways to experience and deal with them. For example, calling a friend, working on creative pursuits, learning to calm ourselves through self-talk and relaxation techniques etc… And sometimes when you are distraction-free you realize you might need help outside of yourself like a therapist, coach, mentor or friend.
- When I had to use internet, I needed to make sure I remembered everything or it might not get done until the next day. To counter this, I started writing ‘internet to do’ lists before I left the house. This allowed me to be incredibly intentional about what I was doing online, and realized how unintentional I had previously been.
- That being said, YOU NEED SOME UNINTENTIONAL TIME. Filling a day to the brim with intentionality and productivity is near impossible and hella stressful. Sometimes you need to just chill, bro.
- When you order the cheapest thing on the menu (usually herbal tea) in order to stay for hours at a cafe with free Wifi, TIP HEAVILY.
- The hierarchy of free Wifi, in terms of speed and reliability, is as follows:Starbucks < Library < LAUNDROMAT.
Overall, I learned that it’s not actually a big deal to go without internet. Sure, it was annoying not to be able to answer work emails right away, and be out of the loop on some things, but your real friends will text you and your work can call you. It’s worthwhile to let go of distractions and deal with yourself every once in awhile.
Next month, NO PHONE!
Just kidding ;p
You’ve been asking for more videos, so here it is!
Enjoy this new cover video we shot on a sunny (and super windy) summer day this June 🙂
This big life
They float away on a wisp with every phrase uttered in boredom
An armadillo, hunkering
I am so grateful to be able to continuously share my art and vision with you, my supporters. It brings me great pleasure to present my video for The Best, off of my 2014 EP, which was released by GrayOwlpoint.com here : http://grayowlpoint.com/2014/12/15/video-premiere-emma-louise-hewson-the-best/
I am blessed to have such loving, amazing supporters – THANK YOU!
Now go and share the love!