Brandi Emma - Photographic Memory EP
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: Oct. 12, 2010
Brandi Emma is a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who grew up in a small town in western Massachusetts. After gaining buzz under the psuednonym Emma Burgess, she presents this EP of jangly folk pop.
How is it?
Utterly splendid. The disc opens with "Let It Go," a quiet, introspective piece with ripples of acoustic guitar and cello. The entire song is inviting, warm and undeniably comfortable. The irony in that sentiment is that the song recounts an ex- lover's unwillingness to sober up. Though the words are simple, the tone and feel is as striking as anything released this year.
The disc's apex is the plaintive "Tornados," a veritable tour-de-force in which she sings, "I'm good at slamming dopors and opening windows, bitter's never looked so sweet." The buoyant "Happy," features more bounce and tempo than any of the five included here and double bass and a steel guitar help the song sound indelible. Veering heavily towards Midwestern roots a la early Melissa Etheridge, "Happy," is a punchy, ebullient slice of lo-fi jangle pop.
The EP's title track is atmospheric and celestial as Emma wistfully sings, "Oh light, come to my window and stay. Steer and take us away. Teleport me back to yesterday." While it's not the EP's strongest effort, it's not exactly a flop either. Confident in her abilities, Emma returns to form on "Broken Arrow," an ominous and timeless composition featuring deeply bowed acoustic guitar and the candid lyrics, "Tell me I'm no prophet, that this is no shallow affair. The melancholy das have been few."
And in just 20 short minutes, Emma has already said and done more than many of her contemporaries. Much like discovering Jewel's Pieces of You or Sarah Harmer's You Were Here, Photographic Memory points to a glimmering future for this young upstart and is the surefire sign of a rare and true talent. Major labels, take notice.