Emilia Dahlin
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Emilia Dahlin

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Evolver - Emilia Dahlin Finds Herself Again"

When bands self-title an album that’s not their first, it’s almost always a good thing. . .
The theory is that a post-debut, self-titled effort is in some way a re-definition of the artist, a declaration of starting things over, a reimagining.
For Emilia Dahlin, her self-titled sophomore album is probably just a realization that her debut EP, Stealing Glimpses, wasn’t exactly the product she wanted to mark her entrée into the music scene. It was recorded in Massachusetts (that can’t be good. Just kidding. Kind of). Most importantly, it didn’t have the kick-ass rhythm section of Adam Frederick on bass and Jon May on drums.
Hence, it’s surprising that Dahlin opens her re-debut with “6 Acre Lot,” which is just her and her guitar. It’s also slow and plodding, not exactly a whiz-bang introduction. Hid I been organizing this thing, I’d have opened with song two, “Bound to Be,” one of four songs reimagined from Ste3aling Glimpses (which I’m shocked has never, according to my extensive research, been used as an album title before). Ceck out Travis’ The Invisible Band. Do you think they should have led with “Dear Diary” instead of “Sing?” Hardly.
“Bound to Be” appropriately for her personality and self-made attitude, is Dahlin as aggressive gal not to be messed with. A jazzy, halting, start-stop cadence is executed superbly, Dahlin’s staccato delivery recalling DiFranco’s early efforts (but she, too, eventually brought in a band, didn’t she?).
But you’ll find that’s nothing once this album gets rolling. “Blackwater” isw almost a bluegrass song (if not for the drums. . .). With Dahlin’s vocals way to the front of the mix, a bass strum opens the first verse, then is joined by a flatpicked guitar and drums for verse two. Lyrics about “the only home that we had ever know, “where “the hollow would never be the same” because “blackwater’s running though these mines that we’ve made” help Dahlin craft an authentic folk number, and she infuses it with some Woody Guthrie politics by mentioning the “rock dust settled on m y lungs.” It’s a barn burner – and, as such, a great song three.
Later, the album’s best radio single, “Infatuated,” dontinues this aggressive streak, May and Frederick rockin’ a Latin theme, Dahlin coming off like some kind of Fatal Attraction freakshow: “Did I laugh too much? Or come across too tough?”
Oh, and then there’s this gorgeous nugget: “Newsprint letters, cut with so much care/ Bear words of love for you,” Get it? Care bear? Freakshow? I love it. The chorus of “lugging around my love” then degenerates into a scattered, crazed bridge to the finish which is pretty great.
Not that Dahlin can’t do sensitive. In “Song Given Back” her voice climbs a key or two up the register, which is nice – it’s still slightly Ani, but sweeter. Particularly with the line “I’m forever torn,” her delivery is spot-on, sounding a lot like Peggy Hambright, the chick who sang backup for the Judybats (oooh, haven’t thought about them in a long time. Hambright’s only on Sown in the Sahcks Where the Satellite Dishes Grow, though, not on the also-excellent Pain Makes You Beautiful).
Dahlin can also do jazz. On “No End” engineer Joachim Horsely gets a great distorted-vocal effect to recall old-timey jazz standards, layered over a delicate guitar break-down and matching bass break-up. Dahlin keeps up the distorted vocals through the whole song, but might have had more effect if she’d broken through with her natural voice for the chorus. But then I probably would have accused her of being gimmicky. Certainly, when she wails that “I heard of a place called the deep blue sea,” the passion is doubled or trebled by the echoing feeling of distance the effect lends.
In fact, Dahlin shows range and talent throughout. There’s the lullaby “Sleep Tight Willy,” which is successful in its quietude, especially after repeated listenings. And the (hope I’m not giving anything away here) hidden track about stepping in bees (hinted at in the album art, by the way) is a romp worthy of extended treatment.
If this is Dahlin’s reintroduction of herself, listeners should be pleased to meet her.
- Portaland Phoenix - May 4, 2004



*Voted: Best Local Singer/Songwriter
Portland, Maine

*Voted: Best Local Female Vocalist
2005, 2006- Portland, Maine

*Finalist in the Telluride Bluegrass
Festival's Troubadour Competition

*Finalist in '05/'06 NEMO Music Makers Songwriting
Competition (and showcasing act)

*Showcased at NXNE '06

*Showcased at NEMO '06

*Winner of five showcases,
2004-2006, with the National
Association for Campus Activities.


radiodelray.com VA

*live studio performances


Tom Rush
Lori McKenna
Andrew Bird
Mason Jennings
Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul
Freddy Jones Band
Better Than Ezra


Micah Blue Smaldone
Antigone Rising
Jen Shankman
Kay Hanley (of Letters to Cleo) Now is Now
Kate Shrock
Darien Brahms
The Anniversary Jason Spooner


Saint Mary's College of CA CA '03
U Cal Riverside CA '04
Coe College IA '05
Central College IA '05
University of Dubuque IA '05
Bradley University IL '02
Lake Forest College IL '05
Hanover College IN '03
DePauw University IN '03
University of Kansas KS '02
University New England ME '01-'04
St. Joseph's College of Maine ME '01
Colby College ME '01
University of ME Orono ME '05
Southern ME CC ME '05
Brandeis University MA '01 - '04
Tufts University MA '01 - '03
Stonehill College MA '97 - '03
Bridgewater State College MA '02
Smith College MA '04
Saint Cloud State University MN '02
Normondale C. C. MN '04
South East Missouri State MO '02
University of New Hampshire NH '00
University of North Dakota ND '02
Binghamton University NY '02
Wittenberg University OH '02
Linfield College OR '04
Indiana University of PA PA '02
Bucknell University PA '04
Eastern WA University WA '04
Seattle University WA '04
Everett College WA '04
Whitman College WA '04
Eastern WA C.C. WA '04
Central WA University WA '04
Edgewood College WI '05
Lawrence University WI '05
Northeast WI Tech WI '05
Ripon College WI '05
University of WI - Eau Claire WI '04
University of WI - Steven's Point WI '04
University of WI - River Falls WI '04
University of WI - Stout WI '04


ME -Saltwater Music Festival
-Common Ground Fair (Unity)
- Maine Festival (Brunswick)
-Kayak Rendezvous (Portland)
-State Theater (benefit
- Limerick Elementary
-Catherine McCauly High
-Windham High School
-Gardiner Public Library
The Skinny
Free Street Taverna
Bull Feeney's
The Ale House
100 Congress
Mercury Bar
Brian Boru
Inn On the Blue (York)

Club Passim
Kendall Cafe (Cambridge)
Middle East (Cambridge)
Blackthorne Tavern
Dogwood Cafe (Jamaica
Cleary's Bar (Boston)
New Song Folk Cafe
Stoughton Music Society
Off The Common (UU
Church in Bridgewater)
Starbucks (Boston)
The Moors (Provincetown)
Bubala's By the Bay

NH Press Room (Portsmouth)
Portsmouth Gaslight Co.

VT Pickle Barrel (Killington)
Mount Snow (West Dover)

MN 400 Bar (Minneapolis)
Beans (Duluth)

CA Red Devil Lounge (SanFran)
Hotel Utah (San Fran)
Ireland's 32 (San Fran)

IL No Exit Cafe (Chicago)

WI Acoustic Cafe (Eau Claire)

- Emilia Dahlin Productions

"Voted Best Female Vocalist 2005"

http://www.portlandphoenix.com/supplements/bmp/One/documents/04710407.asp - Portland Phoenix

"CD and Live Review"

http://www.itrockrag.com/archive.php?amonth=5&ayear=2005&asection=therankinfiles - IT Magazine 4/05


God Machine, June '06

Stealing Glimpses, August '01

Self Entitled, May '04
Airplay - No End
- Sleep Tight Willy
- 6 Acre Lot



Born on a small farm south of Boston to a musical instrument-collecting father and accordion-playing mother, Emilia was destined for a life of music. She started piano, formally, at the age of five and trained
classically for the next thirteen years. It was Christmas day, 1996, when Emilia decided she wanted to play the guitar. She went up to the attic,
pulled out a warped and worn guitar, that once belonged to her great grandfather, and started to play. She never stopped.

After a brief, post-graduate stint in San Francisco, she moved to Portland, Maine to attend a grad program in documentary photography and supported herself by singing in the streets of the Old Port. Here, she fostered her love of storytelling both visually and audibly. Upon graduation, in the midst of a full fledged love affair with Maine, Emilia settled into the Portland community and started building a career as a full-time singer/songwriter.

Now, wielding a voice that defies the size of her body and strong storytelling sensibilities, Emilia Dahlin has carved out her name as a unique songstress. She weaves mesmerizing tales (complete with Greek myths, robotic messiahs, epic floods, and tax evaders) with raw, rootsy folk and dynamic jazz vocals. Her well-crafted songs sound as if they've been left outside where time and weather have worn cracks for the wind to whip through. Her sky-rocketing energy is delivered with honesty. She's a “self-made original” and the quintessential indie musician, wearing the hat of artist, manager, booking agent, and publicist at once.


*Winner: Great Waters Songwriting Competition
Wolfboro, NH

*Finalist: Mountain Stage NewSong Competition

*Voted: Best Local Female Vocalist
2005, 2006, 2007
Portland, Maine

*Voted: Best Local Singer/Songwriter
Portland, Maine

*Finalist in the Telluride Bluegrass
Festival's Troubadour Competition

*Winner: '07 NEMO Music Makers Songwriting Competition Regional Finals

*Finalist in '05/'06/'07 NEMO Music Makers Songwriting Competition Overall Finals

*Selected for Showcaseat - NXNE '06, '07

*Selected for Showcase - NEMO '06

*Winner of five showcases,
2004-2006, with the National
Association for Campus Activities as an indie artist