A quite stunning EP from Emilia Quinn ( no relation before you ask!), who previously had only released one single "Bones". That was full of neat word play but only hinted at what was to come, three tracks that for one reason or another will demand your attention. Created with the minimum of instrumentation, a guitar, a drum and some well worked vocals have allowed Emilia to make something quite extraordinary. Three songs deeply personal that resonate long after they have finished, each one packed with attention to detail in the writing and vocal delivery, with an emphasis on one word or a slight change in wording designed to engross the listener and capture their attention,
"Sorry Momma" - from its opening strum is full of intrigue, with its apologetic chorus, "I know its not what you hope for my life I just need to take each day in my stride". There are signs of great sadness "I'm bluer than i've been before" but ultimately there is a sign of hope "Like a phoenix I'll rise from the flames and start over again".
With just a guitar and a kick drum, you might think that this could sound a little bare but far from it, the drum sound gives it a sound of urgency while the guitars build to quite a crescendo. if you also factor in Emilia's vocals, listen to the way she hangs on the phrases "start all over again" or "but it won't get you very far". The backing vocals also go make this into something quite special.
"Woman Like Me" opens to a dysfunctional relationship with a quite bleak lyrical opening of "Promises made and broken in my face" or "You just want to see yourself in my empty eyes".
Musically after that opening it is more upbeat to match the feeling of someone who has decided to head for a new life "I've packed up my things and i'm waving goodbye from the window of my chevvy truck". There's a definite Mexican feel in the clapping and percussion which is apt for a song about heading to the Mexico border. Once again Emilia's vocals elevate this to another level, matched with a tune that you'll find it hard to escape from.
The final song "Wrote it Off" starts a capella with the words softly but firmly spoken "I spent years fighting in your corner then waiting for the next round, I picked you up and dusted you off when you went down", with the final word being the cue for the guitar to kick in.
There's a harsh reality "You don't need me and you're done with this life" and after a seemingly endless pause for added emphasis - "our life"
Once again the track is full of great attention to detail, from the lyrics, to the appearance of a mandolin in the background that beautifully balances the song. There are again lots of vocal touches that suggest a familiarity with recording studio processes or a fantastic vision of just how she wanted the final version to sound.
There is much to love and admire in this EP and I fully expect that we'll hear a lot more from Emilia Quinn in 2019.
Emilia Quinn will be at the Buckle & Boots Paddock Stage on Saturday at 12:45-13:15
The EP Launch is on Saturday 8th June at Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds12 Cavendish Road, LS2 9JT Leeds