37. EMILY HOWARD “Where Do I Go?” EP (Random Fish Records, 2013)

I first became aware of EMILY HOWARD last November at the Exeter OXJAM; which I had been invited to by some folk musician friends of mine. (See my bog entry #28). She was one of the many excellent local performers that I witnessed that afternoon; and after the gig I had a brief chat with her.  So when she contacted me asking me to review her debut EP, Where Do I Go? I was only too pleased to do so.

Emily Howard's 'Where Do I Go?' (Photo: PTMQ)

Emily Howard’s ‘Where Do I Go?’ (Photo: PTMQ)

It is a six-track collection  of original works, all penned by Emily herself. After my initial listen, It was immediately clear to me that the lady has many talents: chief of which is her song-writing ability.  They are all well constructed songs, with good, interesting and unusual lyrics inspired by her experiences of life; about which  she seems remarkably, and refreshingly candid. Listening to the EP, I’m subtly reminded of other artists’ work, but I can’t for the life of me put my finger on who! (Although Beverly Craven springs to mind). There’s definately something unique about Emily’s music though; and that’s the important thing here.

I had only previously heard one song from the EP – the title track (which I remember taking a liking to at the Oxjam gig).  It is my personal favourite among the six. It has a nice arpeggiated chord sequence as an intro; enhanced by the bansuri flute, which delivers a mysterious ambience.  Fluttering keys add to this vibe later in the song.  ‘Where do I go from here?’ sings Emily – how many of us have asked ourselves that question in a time of uncertainty, I wonder? The piece ends with a nice little instrumental coda which I like a lot.

Emily has a lovely singing voice and her lead vocals are very good. She also has an ear for well thought-out harmonies to back them too – particularly on ‘Skip This Track’ and ‘Butterfly’; but these are evident on all of her songs. She also plays all guitars. And I must say that her rhythm guitar work is another of her great strengths – most noticable on ‘Journeyman’.  Lead guitar, where it is played, is simpler but effective enough to enhance the songs – especially on ‘Age’, I thought.  She is ably assisted by her band, which consists of: EWAN MacCAULEY on keys; CHRIS JONES on bass; and LUKE DOLMAN on drums. Additional musicians BIPIN JANI on Bansuri; and OLLI WHITE on percussion; were draughted in as necessary too.  

The CD comes in a simple card slip-case with basic info on credites etc; and a very nice (and relevant) guitars, butterflies, and other natural motifs design by Hannah Scully. 

Emily is apparenty currently recording a second collection of songs entitled ‘Keep Us Sane’ (another song that I heard at the Exeter Oxjam). I am, at time of writing, unsure whether this is another EP or a full album; but if the Where Do I Go?  EP is anything to go by, then the future is looking very rosy indeed for this very talented young singer / song-writer. I hope to get down to Devon again soon; and hopefully catch Emily at one of her gigs. Good luck to her with the new project anyway.

 PTMQ

Here is a link to Random Fish Records website:

http://www.randomfishrecords.co.uk/Random_Fish_Records/Home.html

Here is a video of the title track ‘Where Do I Go?’ :

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One thought on “37. EMILY HOWARD “Where Do I Go?” EP (Random Fish Records, 2013)

  1. Pingback: 60. GREG HANCOCK “Comfortable Hatred” EP (2015) | Phil the Music Quill

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