Thursday 23 August 2012

Emma - Purple Trees EP

EP review by KevW

OK then, 60 seconds: bands with a single human name as their name - go! Erm, Travis, James, Jethro Tull doesn't count. Madonna? No that's her real name, and Cheryl Cole's just calling her Cheryl now but that doesn't count for the same reason. Anyone remember Sammy? Right time's up. We're struggling but there must be loads we've missed. We don't know who the Emma in question is here, or even if there is one, but that's the chosen moniker for this quartet of North London men who came together at the start of the year and have played several small gigs around the capital, honing their sound and rehearsing and recording to now emerge as "London's best kept secret". They're not the first band this year to make such a claim, so is there weight to their statement? Debut EP 'Purple Trees' is free to download for a limited time, and we'd suggest getting your paws on it while you can, and if you miss the freebies, well it's worth spending a couple of quid on too.

For a new, and we're guessing self-produced, group, these songs have the sound of experience, direction and completion. What should really be considered demos feel very much the finished article. We're talking dreamy electro-pop with enough bite to stop it ever being lumped in with any chillwave-type fads. They cite heavy rock bands amongst their influences and while their sound is some way from that, you can see what they mean with the delicately crunching yet harmonious 'Serulean Fades' and the jagged intro and beats on 'Perfect Blue'. The vocals may be soft and misty (which works perfectly) but musically, although hazy and lush, there's also a gravity behind these tunes. 'Purple Trees And The Green Rain' is the closest they come to pure pop and it sounds great; there's depth of sound and careful production and it's obvious that time, effort and thought has been put into this EP. As for London's best kept secret? Well they can't be now the cat's out of the bag, but of all the groups who've made that claim recently, Emma have as strong a stake as any. Ooh, just though of another one - Marion!

Emma's website

Stream or download the EP

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