New Release & Tour: Emmy the Great – First Love

Photo Credit: Alex Lake

Emmy the Great’s debut album First Love will be re-issued on vinyl on 14th June, accompanied by new liner notes by Emmy

The release will be preceded by a 9–date UK tour to mark its tenth anniversary, including a performance at London’s Union Chapel…

28th May – Sheffield – Leadmill tickets
29th May – Newcastle – Cluny tickets
30th May – Glasgow – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut tickets
31st May – Birmingham – The Cuban Embassy tickets
2nd June – Leeds – The Wardrobe tickets
3rd June – Liverpool – Phase One tickets
4th June – Manchester – Deaf Institute tickets
5th June – Bristol – The Fleece tickets
7th June – London – Union Chapel tickets

It was an era of Myspace and indie-bands with strict haircuts. A handful of scratchy demos in home-made packaging began appearing around London venues, on tube seats and in between pages in second-hand bookstores. These were the first recordings by Emmy the Great, born Emma-Lee Moss. Emerging as part of the early-2000’s London singer-songwriter boom, she soon established herself as an original voice, her songs made of long, lyric-heavy stories wrapped around acoustic guitars barely played in tune

First Love, recorded in Lancashire in the late spring of 2008 and released the following February, came to soundtrack an innocent age of early Internet. A break-up album, it channelled a young woman’s heartache through fictional vignettes, set against pastoral scenes – an imagined English landscape, green and hopeful that Moss describes as ‘the England of my dreams’

The first single, We Almost Had A Baby, told the story of a lingering connection between ex-lovers, backed by sha-lala girl-group vocals. Meanwhile, title track First Love was a homage to Leonard Cohen named for a Samuel Beckett novella – the ultimate expression of her penchant for literary allusions and the dropped names of musical heroes

Says Moss: “The year that First Love came out was another time for women in music, it was another time for artists of colour. I battled with myself and with the industry to make the music that sounded right to me, and, while some people got that, others told me it would never work out. When I released the album, it was a leap of faith. Over the years, there has been a steady stream of people telling me that leap was worth it for them. The fact that it continues to mean something to these audiences is, to me, the highest accolade. Today, I can still listen to First Love and hear the voice of the young woman that I was, and feel pride and compassion for her. Sometimes I want to reach back and tell her that everything will be OK in the end”