Emmy the Great
About Emmy the Great
Emmy the Great's reflective, delicately inventive indie folk-pop songs alternate between the sweet and bittersweet. While her 2009 debut album, First Love, favored a blend of earthy acoustic and electric guitar textures, she updated her sound with her third full-length, 2016's Second Love, which added spacious electronics.
Emma-Lee Moss was born in Hong Kong and later moved with her family to England, where she became a fixture of London's burgeoning anti-folk scene. The young singer/songwriter collaborated with Lightspeed Champion, Fyfe Dangerfield, and Jeremy Warmsley, and her audience grew as she shared the stage with the likes of Martha Wainwright and Kimya Dawson. Her debut single as Emmy the Great, "Secret Circus," appeared in 2006, with the My Bad EP following in 2007. Meanwhile, she collaborated closely with Euan Hinshelwood and expanded her reach by touring the festival circuit, bringing her articulate folk tunes to audiences at the Green Man Festival, Latitude Festival, and Glastonbury. She issued her first album, First Love, the Close Harbour label in 2009.
In 2011, fueled by the unfortunate last-minute breakup with her fiancée, Moss wrote and recorded her second album, Virtue, with Hinshelwood once again playing a role in the album's creation. Produced by Gareth Jones, Virtue expanded her work both sonically and thematically, while her partnership with Ash frontman Tim Wheeler resulted in the festive This Is Christmas album the same year.
Along with writing songs for the 2013 romantic comedy film Austenland, she spent the next few years touring and traveling the world, which inspired her next release, the 2015 EP S, her first for Bella Union. That year, she also wrote the closing song for the Mystery Show podcast, among other side work. In 2016, Bella Union issued relationship-minded full-length Second Love. It featured liner notes by her friend, writer Jon Ronson. Inspired by a return to Hong Kong in late 2017, the songwriter recorded her fourth album, April, with producers Beatriz Artola and Dani Markham in Brooklyn in early 2018. It eventually saw release on Bella Union in October 2020 following a maternity leave. ~ Marcy Donelson & James Christopher Monger