Thursday, October 21, 2010

Emma Hill and Her Gentlemen Callers - Clumsy Seduction

Emma Hill has developed her special style of folk music while growing up in rural Alaska. After moving to Palmer in high school, she became well known on the Anchorage music scene. There she sang with a couple of local groups -- Blackbird Productions and Pennies and Patches -- which increased her recognition. In 2006 she moved to Portland, Oregon where she began writing solo material. Then in 2007, Emma recorded and released her first full length album, Just Me, on Kuskokwim Records. The album received a lot of radio play on college and independent radio stations. It reached #8 on the KRUA Anchorage album charts. Then, in 2008 Emma recorded her second album, Clumsy Seduction, which was released in 2009 on Kuskokwim. The record charted on several indie radio stations, including reaching #12 on Acoustic Pie Radio in early 2010.

Clumsy Seduction showcases Emma's songwriting talents and her ability to create memorable melodies. Her strong folk and Americana roots are shown in the run-of-the-mill instrumentation, but her lush vocals are an extraordinary focal point in each song. Emma's impressive range and emotional quality enhances her lyrics by creating feeling and character. The song, "Your Fool," has a heartfelt vulnerability with vocal restraint, a delicate guitar and sighing strings towards the end. And, Emma's moving and overwrought vocals and poignant lyrics on "Crazy" provide the album’s strongest track. Finally, Emma's subtle inflections on the title track project the feelings of rejection and heartache.

Moreover, the effortless flow of the diverse musical arrangements on Clumsy Seduction keeps the listener interested and invested. The countrified "One Glass Too Many" has a twangy banjo and the slide of a steel guitar, while the surprising scat in the pessimistic "Doctor" is a melancholic vocal gem, and "Goodbye" has an acoustic pop-tinged appeal. No one track sounds the same yet each track works in unison creating a cohesive and seamless album.

The combination of Emma Hill's gorgeous vocals, signature songwriting, and musical variations makes for a remarkable and fascinating album. Clumsy Seduction is a wonderful product of an artist on the threshold of success and stardom on the folk/Americana scene. Currently, Emma Hill and Her Gentlemen Callers are working on her third album, Meet Me at the Moon expected to be released in early 2011.

05 - Crazy by aibrean

07 - Clumsy Seduction by aibrean

09 - Goodbye by aibrean

02 - One Glass Too Many by aibrean

03 - Your Fool by aibrean

11 - Doctor by aibrean

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