Australian singer songwriter Emma Louise is to release her debut LP vs. Head vs. Heart out on French Kiss Records. The ten track album by the Brisbane artist follows her successful 2011 EP Full Hearts and Empty Rooms and was produced in the Brisbane studio of Matt Redlich (Hungry Kids of Hungary, Ball Park Music). She hints at what each song is about on her website, stating: “I’d feel strange about giving away all their secrets in plain writing or sentences. Instead I think I will hint what they are about and the reader/listener can decide for themselves what its about”.
Opener “17 Hours” eases you into the melodies slowly, Emma almost whispers the opening lines; “Hands on her shoulders, head on her back…they keep no money, far far away, 17 hours of flying” before the guitar begins to layer up underneath her unmistakable, whimsical vocals. “Atlas Eyes” follows on with a more definite piano tune and rhythm and then samples of a couple talking – she suggests the song is about understanding “those things we were scared of as a child in a more magnified way after a loved one is wrapped in the thorns of mental illness”.
“Stainache” is a love song full of beautiful, thoughtful piano and tentative vocals whilst “Mirrors” is a way for Emma to tell others to stay away from the man she has fallen in love with – and the warning tones show in the rhythm and bass lines; “I imagined my cat back arched while I hissed these lyrics behind a microphone”. “Cages” is a song about leaving her bird behind whilst on tour, a delicate track with emotions showing through.
The last official track on the album “To Keep Me Warm” is another love song; “I don’t like to sleep alone, I get cold…when you’re gone” – she’s certainly got a set of lungs. It is followed by the secret track, which as hinted at on her website isn’t really all that secret, but nevertheless comes after a brief break in the last track, and finishes vs. Head vs. Heart in the way Emma Louise does best; with passion, heart and soul.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.