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

I’m actually a wicked producer???

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Yesterday as I was going through some computer files, I stumbled upon this song that I completed as part of a production course in my first or second year at york university in 2008/2009. It’s just so crazy to me because at the time I really felt like I was a bad producer – I left the course really comparing myself to others and feeling stuck, like I wasn’t ‘getting it.’ Contrast to yesterday, finding this and just dancing and laughing and really loving this track and being proud of it. I forgot that I’m actually a wicked producer and I want to own that! Hope you enjoy 🙂

LOL, don’t believe me? Check out the full song on my soundcloud!

I covered a Gospel song with Colin J. Gibson!

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I just get genuine joy out of singing with cool people, you know?

That’s why I knew I HAD to get Colin in my house to do a lil’ jammity jam. He and I play in several bands together, and when you play with him, it is immediately obvious that he is a rare gem in the Toronto musician community. Not only a technical, high-quality guitarist, but Colin is also the perfect supportive player. He’ll never solo too loud or force his ideas on you – just real honest love and support pouring out of this guy. And if you’re feeling doubtful or nervous (which, c’mon don’t we all feel that way sometimes?), Colin is the guy you go to in order to build you right back up to the best player you could be.

And he sings! What? Dream collaborator ❤

Here’s what Colin had to say about the song!

“Washington Phillips was a man who wrote his own gospel tunes, who played an instrument of his own making, and who promptly vanished into history shortly after recording this remarkable music. The enigma of his music is only deepened by the evident passion and fervor with which he delivered  these strange songs of simple faith.”

Image result for washington phillips

Here’s our version – enjoy!

Too Beautiful to be Good?

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Hey friends,

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!
Love

Emma

 

Changing Priorities and Just Being Really Real Yo

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20170330_1449545‘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 

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Constantly inspired by my my dope, fashionable friends Michelle and Yugo who run a photo/styling studio together.

2. GRENADIER POND + AUNTS = PRETTY NICE LIL’ JAUNT

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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’

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So humbling when you open the camera by accident.

Das’ it, peeps.

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A Litte Improv #mantramusic

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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!