Reviews

EMILY LEE – DANCE MY DEMON AWAY EP (REVIEW)

emily-lee-dance-my-demon-away-ep-review

EMILY LEE – DANCE MY DEMON AWAY EP (REVIEW)

Emily Lee (like Bruce Lee but with ‘Emily’) is a singer songwriter based in London. She started as a busker and she worked her way through a ‘tough’ musical journey. Her soulful performances combined with her artful songwriting and powerful voice made her a stand-out performer on the London music scene with more and more people interested in her music. Following her debut EP “Don’t Forget To LOVE…” that was released in 2015, Emily has returned with her fiery second EP, “Dance My Demon Away”. This record promises a raw yet fragile insight into Emily’s musical experiences. Listeners will also be stunned by the production from Max Prior (Arcade Fire, Texas, Ray Davies) and Emily’s voice and lyrics lift this record to a new listening experience.

I had a chance to listen to Emily’s second EP ‘Dance My Demon Away’ and I have to say that I liked it more than I thought I would. It’s obvious from the first ‘hearing’ that Emily knows how to sing, how play guitar and how to write her own songs, lyrics and music. Her wistful and ‘warm’ voice fits perfectly with the melancholic guitar and the simple but very interesting lyrics. As a listener you can easily tell that Emily sings more from the heart and less from her mind. Most of her lyrics are based on real life experiences and her singing sounds smooth and ‘rich’ .  After a couple of listening sessions she manages to make you part of her story even if she seems to be ‘holding back’ at certain moments. For example a couple of live performances of the same songs were a bit more intense and I would love to hear that ‘power’ a tiny bit more on the EP.

The arrangements are plain and simple and they may lack a bit of variety but I guarantee that this won’t bother you! The combination of voice, guitar, percussion and  the ‘hunting’ and atmospheric mellotron sound, is convincing and ‘to the point’ and manages to ‘drive’ the listener’s attention to Emily’s voice and songwriting. The sound in general has a ‘deep’ retro-soul-almost country feeling that makes each song special and gives ‘character’ to the whole EP. Yes, the production is a little ‘rough’ on the edges, a bit ‘mid frequency focused’ with some tiny volume issues with the backing vocals in certain spots… BUT that’s part of the magical ‘live’, ‘raw’ and fragile feeling that Dance My Demon Away offers to the listener.
I have to admit that even if I’m not a big fan of this type of music, Emily managed to make me part of her stories after a couple of listening sessions. I felt like I was listening a combination of Joni Mitchell, Adele and Frances! Don’t expect fast and up tempo songs here. It’s a slow, melancholic but sweet travel through Emily’s real life experiences and vulnerability. You’ll find part of yourself in there if you give it the attention that deserves. In the future I would love to listen to the more ‘powerful’ side of Emily’s well crafted voice though…

Emily Lee has ‘raw talent’ and that’s not a secret. If she manages to ‘guide’ it properly, add a bit of variety to her arrangements and experiment with her voice a little, she can definitely be the next ‘big thing’ in the London scene.
Give this EP a chance and you won’t regret it (get tickets for Emily’s live EP launch gig here). It’s fantastic and I guarantee you’ll love it.  Even if you’re fans of mainstream balladry, Emily has so much to offer to the listener in terms of ‘warmth’, and songwriting ‘freshness’. She made me waiting for her full album for sure! She has the songs, she has the music, she has the voice she just needs to choose the ‘right parts’ and make it happen.

Well done Emily!

Highlight tracks: Caroline, How it goes, Dance My Demon Away

Read Emily’s Interview: HERE

Get tickets for Emily’s EP launch: HERE

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Dean P.

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