Emmy the Great - Virtue (3 stars)

Haunting, twisted, and atmospheric follow-up to First Love

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Emmy the Great - Virtue

(Close Harbour Records)

Inspired by heartbreak – as so many of the best albums are – this second collection of unusual and supernatural songs are the result of the breakdown of Emma-Lee Moss’ engagement. But rather than wallow in misery, Emmy chooses pure undiluted escapism, by means of mythical narratives and fairy-tales, as her cathartic, musical poultice to ease the pain.

Like First Love, Virtue is haunting, twisted, and atmospheric. The ambient guitar riffs and melodies again come courtesy of Euan Hinshelwood – her long-term collaborator, while the mystical cast of characters which weave in and out of songs like 'Cassandra' and 'Exit Night', come straight from Emmy’s imagination via biblical fables and the stories of Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter.

Just as First Love was intricate, however, Virtue feels somehow less tangible. The allegories and metaphors seem to reach us as if through a heavy, atmospheric fog and the effect created is that it’s the journey and the characters we meet along the way, not the destination of this album which is important. But it is a pleasantly melancholic journey, and one well worth embarking on.

Emmy The Great - Iris

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