Album Review: Emma Louise – Supercry (2016 LP)

Brisbane artist Emma Louise took the music world by storm at 19 years of age, producing a debut EP that earned her a nomination for the 2011 J Award Unearthed Artist of the Year. A beacon of raw musical talent she soon had a debut full-length album and an ARIA nomination under her belt. Sophomore album Supercry is exquisitely produced, articulating intimate emotions with immense vulnerability and competence. Fusing hauntingly beautiful vocals with delicate keys, Emma Louise continues to craft blissful indie pop that is earnest and relatable.

A stunning progression of profoundly honest lyricism and intuitively constructed soundscapes, Supercry is musical food for the soul. Exposing the internal carnage that broken relationships can inflict on individuals, the eleven-track album explores the twisted complexities of love, desire and nostalgia. Silky smooth vocals glide above deftly arranged melodies that showcase Emma Louise’s finesse behind the keys. While maintaining a natural fluidity, the album is a collective of stand-alone tunes that revel in dynamic guitar sequences, truncated percussion and rippling synth.

“Talk Baby Talk” features driving guitar rhythms and sporadic synth, emitted in pops and clicks. Pitta patters of piano and the deliberated bash of the drums resonate beneath soaring vocals, fondly reminiscing yet expressing frustration at the lack of communication in a relationship. With increased flavors of pop, its catchy melody and easy to sing along lyrics naturally gained a huge following when initially released as a single.

Opting for a leisurely tempo, “Everything will be fine” stages a series of dreamy electric rifts, deliberated piano strokes and deep-rooted strums of the bass guitar that echo in enigmatic waves for the tracks entirety. Abstract lyrics are delivered in a serene haze inflected with the soft and increasingly fast paced tap of the cymbal. Vibrating synth distorts and carries each verse, particular emphasis on the chorus ‘everything will be fine’ in an act of irony and speculation.

Indicative of its title, “Shut the door” embodies forbidden desire and uncontrollable heartache. An introductory arrangement on the keys chimes with a bright piercing timber before fading into muted chords, percussive licks and vibrating thrums of the bass guitar. Emma Louise demonstrates remarkable range and control, her sweet delivery of reflective lyrics effortlessly melting into a soulful chorale. Emanating a sensual hum, the chorus rocks gently and pleasurably in a state of shimmering calm.

Final track “I thought I was a ship” is the album’s emotive pinnacle, a truly honest account of infidelity and devastating heartbreak. Organic piano chords meditatively lilt while tinkering melodies glide between octaves, delicate and thoughtful. Reverberating synth accentuates silken vocals that are delivered with resounding fragility. Listen with closed eyes and float gracefully into the wind. This soulful ballad is sublime.

Drawing from deeply personal experiences, Supercry is a poetic recollection of the transient and fragile nature of the heart. Emma Louise is exposed, her sincerity unveiling a cohesive and emotionally charged narrative that demonstrates refined musicality and experimentation. Fusing pop sensibility with deftly executed keys and artfully constructed lyrics; Emma Louise has hit the sweet spot. As sung in the track “Colors”, her ‘hearts like a wildfire’, and Supercry is yet another soul quaking by product of sheer brilliance.

Review Score: 9.5 out of 10

Supercry is out now.