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“I want to drip in colour, baby don’t paint me beige”
Emma Louise preaches against banality in Colours, and based on the intense kaleidoscope of passions she reveals on her new album, there is certainly no risk of placing the artist under a neutral palette.
Supercry marks the 2nd full-length album from the Aussie alt-pop alchemist. In an 11-track compilation, the artist’s veins are exposed for investigation in an audio self-portrait that demands hazy lighting and a burning flame beside you upon listening.
Emma Louise is equal parts fiery and sombre in Supercry, laying her emotions bare in an incredibly personal record.
Produced with Pascal Gabriel (Goldfrapp, Ladyhawke), the pair worked on the album in the solitude of a small medieval village in Provence, which undoubtedly aided the singer in producing her most profound work to date.
Supercry is an all too perfect title for a record that will have you filling buckets with tears. It’s an emotional circuit that will inspire a response from every part of your makeup. The album presents a colourful palette of emotions and tributes to Louise’s personal experiences in her 24 years.
All We Ask Is Time opens the record with a very dreamlike intro, announcing that the 10-track road ahead is a bittersweet yet miserable one. It represents the concept of time in current and past tense symbolised in the “burnt candles to the floorboards” and the personal plea “all we ask is time… all we asked was time”.
It sort of presents an afterthought, foreshadowing the tone for the rest of the album as highly reflective and intuitive.
This is Louise at her most vulnerable and honest, coming to terms with her success, and accepting her transition into adulthood in the light of past romance and current yearning for intimacy. In Illuminate we understand this personal fragility is obvious “No body will notice if I break down, break down inside… shake me till I break, I know I’m braver than this”.
While the pace of the album is fundamentally slow, there are plenty of sensual undertones in the synths and sluggish drops that ironically can’t help but raise your heart rate and think lustful thoughts.
It is a highly physical album, drawing on human senses in provocative lyrics and heavily tangible electronic backdrops that you can almost smell the balmy nights and beating of hearts she depicts.
There is a recurrent theme of fire perturbing beneath every song. Louise refers to her heart as a “wildfire” in Colours, in addition to her frequent poetic occasions best summarised in Underflow; “just to feel you breathe from underneath me, skin on skin and heat on heat” – Oh hot damn.
Needless to say if it doesn’t leave you feeling a little flushed there must be something wrong with you.
The rose-tinted references to childhood romance and naivety are ever present, but the most uniting theme on the album is love. Louise reveals various states of infatuation from complete submission in Underflow “I put my white flag in the wind, to let love know I’m giving in”, to a sense of needing in Shut the Door, and finally heartbreak in I Thought I Was A Ship:
“I watched you swim naked with the other fish”.
Only Louise could make the act of cheating sound so innocent.
The cover art – painted by Louise herself, resembles an upside-down monkey, but when you look closer, you realise it’s a naked human body- a self-portrait perhaps, spilling colour from her head, laid bare just like Louise on this record.
Emma Louise is simply intoxicating in Supercry. Between the exquisitely raw poetic utterances of her vulnerability to her mellow yearnings of deep desire, you will be drowning in a pool of audio heroin- and you’d be a fool not to get a fix.
Emma Louise will be playing at Splendour In The Grass late July.
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