Leah Hamer | July 14th
After hiding herself away from the world of music for several years to focus on journalistic pursuits, in 2016 Emily Jones snuck out from her hiatus, picked up her guitar and arose once again to the gigging sphere. With this comeback, the pressure was on to trap her talent within a recording and so she called up the wizarding minds over at DROMA Records and UTC Studio. Together they have produced, A Cut To The Quick, the first instalment of two releases she has planned for 2017.
The raw squeaks of guitar strings open up the EP with New Year, a song that revives your hopes and expectations of life. With an earthy voice and gentle strums of her guitar, Emily is comforting and homely throughout the track. Like a wake-up call, she sings ‘new day, new hour, new start, new year’, to shake away the cobwebs of your mind and begin afresh.
The lead single, I Hope It Hurts, follows with its forceful storm of angst. It begins mellow, a building rage throughout the verse turns into this vocal inferno, complete with its bellowing reverb. The backing guitar of Jack Tasker is jazzy and smooth, and the towering drums of Sophie Bret Tasker give the track the extra volume that the lyrics require. Brutal and honest, you would be wise to not make enemy of Emily.
Penultimate track Upsticks is bluesy and comes with a wiggling beat that makes you move. There is a rebellious, smirking attitude with this track, ‘Upsticks, take your shit elsewhere.’ Tom Bath comes in with a harmonica giving it this lively, country feel. Liberating and fun, it reflects just another angle of Emily’s skill set.
One of the remarkable elements of this EP, is how daringly different it is to Emily’s live performances. Those that have caught her in person will recognise Emily to be an endearing soul with an ever-strengthening voice and charming wit as she rests her guitar across her lap and tells the crowd short anecdotes. A Cut to the Quick is an enhanced Emily- she is commanding, intimidating and superior. The addition of electronics and drums provides a melodramatic force field surrounding her voice. Jack and Sophie Bret Tasker act as her supportive side-kicks, giving her the energetic, confidence boost that truly magnifies the first three tracks of EP.
The final track, however, gives Emily her own solitary platform to present herself. Fool brings back a wave of darkening emotion, with her reflective lyrics and stripped back production. Broken and real, she does not shy away from truth. It is hard listening- you are forced to understand the words and relate to their gut wrenching meaning. As wonderful it is to see Emily brightened by further production- Fool reminds you that she is just as powerful standing alone.
With poignant subject matters, dazzling vocals and a proud, courageous attitude, A Cut to the Quick is the perfect display of Emily Jones showing the world who she is.
A Cut To The Quick is out today via DROMA Records.