Emily Brown
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Emily Brown

Oakland, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Oakland, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Folk Indie




"ALBUM REVIEW: Emily Brown – ‘Bee Eater’"

The 27 year old native to the Coachella Valley, Emily Brown, has promptly released her third studio album and it has found us like a little bird tensing for flight. Bee Eater is packed with a certain precision – one that both preserves and relinquishes the anxious romantics of being human in a beautifully poetic way. Produced by Colin Hatch and mastered by Jack Shirley of The Atomic Garden in Oakland, the album follows her preceding 2016 EP Emily Frown, for which she took a darker approach to writing.

Her music always lyrically driven, Bee Eater sheds past venoms, nestling deeply into the comfort of honest self-preservation. Much like the Bee-eater itself, Emily’s collection of work is characterized by its richly colorful plumage – each vocal, each stroke of key, each mounting lyric another feather in her musical cap. And with many alludes to our feathered companions, the ten track lineup takes to the sky, soaring and therapeutic.

Having confronted mental illness in the past, Emily bares her soul in a heartbreaking and truthful manner. A way that urges the listener along, grasping at the seeking fragments of confession and retrospect. Drawing from personal experience and a visceral literary tradition, the album becomes a power in its own right. Cushioned by melodies founded in chamber pop, bedroom rock, and her own poetic style of indie-folk, Emily’s songwriting prowess comes to fruition.

Bee Eater travels from those dreamy folk influences to buoyantly soft indie-pop, all the while laying down a chronicle of intimacies. It opens with track ‘That’s Not Me,’ Emily immediately setting herself apart from all the other girls. Holding firm against illusions of love, she echoes, “At least I am, who I say I am”. The restless tempo ascends on newly spread wings into the surrealism of tracks like ‘In My Dreams,’ where the haunting wistfulness of memories wanders on soft summer melodies, as if simulating a fairy tale.

Using music as a kind of kinesthetic therapy, Bee Eater is interwoven and cohesive. Ranging from those pensive, soft hues to more instrumentally heady, tempo-driven tracks, such as ‘Unseen Girl,’ ‘True Love’ and ‘Who Can Say.’ Though more playful additions to the album, there is still a hint of hesitation to each that carries the narrative along, whether it be in a hopefulness of what is to come, or a look into the past.

Traveling this road is heavy on your soles, to be sure; however, Emily doesn’t waver in her convictions, despite there being a track titled ‘Giving Up.’ As birds whistle in the background, the cinematic, piano-heavy number bleeds past poisons until all that is left is the stripped remains of time. ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Beautiful Baby’ are much the same, shedding misgivings and assigned identities. The former beautifully composed in vocables and strong melody, like a gem buried in her thoughts. “Tell me that you meant what you said, when you said you loved me still / I will love you, I always will,” she sings in the latter with a wrenching somberness that burrows into your heart and doesn’t easily let go.

The album comes to a conclusion with the tracks ‘Take Me Up Slowly’ and ‘Stay Lovin,’ two resoundingly intimate numbers that are both worthy and kind. “Stay lovin, oh darling, I feel the changing of the tide,” her voice quiet and lilting, she caps off her album with the same honesty and subsistence as it began with. Closing this chapter with a face turned towards the light, Bee Eater plays as if Emily is sitting next to you, relinquishing her heart for someone to finally keep.

‘Bee Eater’ is out now via Song Club Records – and is available to purchase on Bandcamp. - Bittersweet Symphonies

"Emily Brown Transcends Genre With Bee Eater"

Oakland singer-songwriter Emily Brown’s LP Bee Eater is larger than life, featuring baroque arrangements and her own powerhouse voice. Wide in scope, the album moves from the vibrato-filled opener “That’s Not Me” reminiscent of the quirky vocal stylings of Regina Spektor to the heartbreaking “Beautiful Baby” (streaming below,) where Brown’s vocals swell over perceptive lyrics like “I was not your manifold lover / I was your miracled world / You and I weren’t made for each other / I’m not that beautiful girl.” Bee Eater is triumphant in its honesty and transcendent in its genre, showing there’s a lot more to the singer-songwriter than meets the eye. - Lilly Milman - The Deli SF


Emily Brown’s voice is something I never want to turn off. Her songs are so good that I want to sing along with them, but refuse to because then I wouldn’t be hearing her sing. Each song on her newest album, Bee Eater, has its own kind of whimsy that’s made it, for me, a perfect segue into autumn—what I consider a comfort season. This is the “lazy Sunday in October” album, the “I don’t want to do anything this afternoon” album—the “big-sweater” album.

I didn’t know Emily Brown before this album, so one of the first thoughts I had listening to Bee Eater is that Brown has a wide vocal range—she’s undeniably folksy, but sometimes her voice is tinged with the familiar playfulness of Regina Spektor or dreamy, Lana Del Rey vibes. “Giving Up” even exudes Ben Folds melodrama. “Yes, I loved you / But now I’m three years older / And 18 will always play fool to 22.” A lot of names jumped at me initially, and I suppose that’s partly what makes Bee Eater a comfy autumnal album—but I kept it on repeat long enough to let Brown carve out her own voice in my head. It’s earned that space.

“That’s Not Me” starts the album and is what first made me think of Spektor—Brown is assertive in her lyrics and in her talent, musing on her own worries and strengths about who she is. “Can I be trusted? / I worry I can’t / At least I am who I say I am.” It’s a strong lead for the album. My favorite track is “Take Me Up Slowly,” which feels the most vulnerable. “I don’t think you’ll hurt me / I think you’re worthy / I think you’re kind.” It’s the eighth track on the 10-track album, so if you’re like me you’ll have long been disarmed by Brown’s earnest lyrics already, but these are still some of my favorite.

Bee Eater is like the instrumental version of itself, by which I mean to say it would be ridiculous ever to not want to hear Brown singing. Listen to this album on Spotify and buy it at emilybrown.bandcamp.com. –Parker Scott Mortensen - SLUG Magazine

"EMILY BROWN – ” Bee Eater “"

Emily Brown is a Californian singer-songwriter and poet. Drawing comparisons to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, her clear voice, and carefully crafted lyrics draw from personal experience and literature.

‘Unseen Girl’ possesses the type of chords and indie girl vocals that beat a path to our door on a daily basis. This time however it comes fitted with an urgency that suggests an artist up for the fight and in the process cuts a fine Sharon Van Etten dash. On this evidence Emily Brown could well be on her way, a soft edged juggernaut at full tilt where nobody but the bad guys get hurt. It grows and it blooms, if only falling in love with somebody was this easy. Emily Brown’s new album ‘Bee Eater’ is out at the end of August. - The Fat Angel Sings


‘Unseen Girl’ possesses the type of chords and indie girl vocals that beat a path to our door on a daily basis. This time however it comes fitted with an urgency that suggests an artist up for the fight and in the process cuts a fine Sharon Van Etten dash. On this evidence Emily Brown could well be on her way, a soft edged juggernaut at full tilt where nobody but the bad guys get hurt. It grows and it blooms, if only falling in love with somebody was this easy. Emily Brown’s new album ‘Bee Eater’ is out at the end of August. KH - Mp3Hugger

"Q&A: Emily Brown"

How would you describe your sound?
Super beautiful folk-pop

When did you first become interested in playing music?
I’ve been singing since I was tiny and always loved it. I started playing the piano when I was 8, but I didn’t start composing and writing songs until I was about 12. It was like I realized that everything I’d ever learned about music was actually a set of tools that I could make up my own stuff with.

What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?
A dad came up to me after a performance and basically said: “I think you should go out with my son because you’re sad and he’s also pretty sad.”

What are you listening to these days?
The new Mitski album (duh). I’m also really falling in love with Jessica Pratt. She’s a freak-folk musician with roots in SF and her music feels so mythical and layered. My standbys are Anais Mitchell, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen. Also, several Tom Waits albums that I pull out every fall.

What are some of your favorite Bay Area music venues?
I love Hotel Utah— all that dark old wood around the bar and the boat hull that’s built into the wall! It’s a venue that feels intimate. Also, their sound guys are amazing. Amnesia is really fun too and seems to draw really good crowds who are invested in music.

What are some of your favorites hangs in the Bay Area and why?
I love Lake Anza. The water’s never too cold and floating around on the lake and seeing the fog in the trees is 100% dreamy. I also love The Albatross in Berkeley. I suck at darts but it’s so fun to take friends there and get a bowl of popcorn and at least make *attempts* at darts all night.

What does music mean to you?
Music is a way to connect with people and a way I connect to myself. I feel like the truest version of me when I’m singing my feelings in front of a bunch of people who are just connecting with those feelings. It’s personal and conversational at the same time.

How’d you guys first get together to play music?
My band’s made up of different friends I’ve made in the Bay. It’s just been a bit at a time— getting to know someone, finding out they play this thing or that, trying it out. It’s been nice to just snowball the group that way.

Is there anything you’d like to plug?
My new album Bee Eater! It came out August 31st. - Music in SF

"Emily Brown "Who Can Say""

Emily Brown has a voice of silk and honey. "Who Can Say" is just one fine example of her talent and whimsical songwriting. As if written in a Laurel Canyon cottage fifty years ago, Bee Eater is an album that impresses from start to finish.

Upon first listen, Emily Brown shows her folk stripes with vocal styling similar to Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, and Joan Baez. A deeper listen reveals an artist who can hold her own among such icons, while infusing some indie production and arrangement. An occasional Bum-Bum, Bum-Bum reminds the listener this is a modern day minstrel, and we should give our full attention.

Emily Brown really raised the bar with Bee Eater. It will be hard listening to anything else after this. - Modern Music Maker

"Taste Test, Edition #4: Indiana, Emily Brown, Guytano & more"

Step into the magical land of ’70s folk-rock with Emily Brown’s “Who Can Say,” a nearly-psychedelic, homespun and lilting mid-tempo from her latest record, Bee Eater. It’s almost like Brown is a long lost band member of The Carpenters or Crosby, Stills & Nash. It’s transportive and twinkles with the very spirit of a better time in mainstream music, glued with delicate frills and booming “ooo”s that make you yearn for the past you never knew you so desperately needed. - B-Sides & Badlands

"Emily Brown - "Unseen Girl""

The spitfire songwriting skills of Emily Brown idyllically take shape in her latest single, “Unseen Girl.” The Oakland-based songstress encapsulates a medley of pop and folk stylings, adding a rustic twang to her soaring melody lines and angelic vocal harmonies. This track centers around the unsettling discovery that the love of your life is holding out for something better. Brown paints the picture of this dream girl, as if to personify the injustice of it all. Anecdotal lyricism and a hooky chorus will have this track on repeat for hours, and rightfully so. Test out the song below in preparation for Brown’s upcoming album Bee Eater, due out the end of the month. - BuffaBLOG

"Emily Brown - Bee Eater"

Emily Brown is a songwriter and poet from California. Her third album, Bee Eater, which was released recently after a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, is something of a landmark in her musical career. It’s the album she’s wanted to make for a long time, big and ambitious in every sense. As the bio describes it as “deeply personal and universal, packed with detailed imagery and blunt honesty […] confessional and conversational […] driven by its rich poetic influence and lyrical melodies.”

The album opens with ‘That’s Not Me’, all wavering strings and trickling piano and a bright and positive atmosphere, somewhere at the crossroads between Illinois Era Sufjan and Regina Spektor. Although initial impressions can be deceiving, and the lyrics hint at the kind of honest sentiment that’s abound on Bee Eater. It finds the narrator warning a loved one, a reminder of a mercurial restlessness and personal freedom that isn’t content to be locked into any one place or situation for too long.

The sentiment could be said to define Bee Eater, right down the the avian artwork, a kind of coiled energy within, always looking to soar free. ‘Sometimes’ feel dark and rich, electric guitar rolling across the background like rumbles of distant thunder, the whole thing whipping up into a little whirlwind of energy, Brown’s voice carried along in wordless yelps. The lyrics this time deal with a difficult relationship, of distances both real and psychological, and the difficulties of communication that sometimes arise even between loved ones.

The intimate and emotionally intense writing doesn’t stop there, and neither do the aspirations of freedom. ‘Giving Up’ is a break-up song that cuts to the bone, the narrator leaving their partner to follow their own path. “I don’t mean to say that the whole time I’ve been lying,” Brown sings, “I’m only implying I wish I was free.” The vulnerable piano ballad ‘Beautiful Baby’ utilises another facet of the bird imagery, speaking of the vulnerability felt in the aftermath of a relationship.

In comparison, ‘Unseen Girl’ sounds positively upbeat, despite its subject matter of a loved one pining for someone else. It’s a richly imagined folk rock song, intricately crafted and infectious, not unlike Haley Henderickx’s great album from earlier this year. ‘Take Me Up Slowly’ strips things right back, soft guitar and slowly pounded drums supporting Emily Brown’s expressive vocals, before the 60s folk pop of ‘Who Can Say’, with an earnest delivery and steady rise of which Petula Clark and Mama Cass Elliot would be proud.

All that’s left then is the aching ballad of ‘Stay Lovin’, a track which serves as a setting straight of all that came before, all previous hurt and pain faded into a wistful warmth. The idea is pertinent for Bee Eater and Emily Brown’s style more generally—finding fondness within even the most fractured of situations, and beauty within the natural processes of change.

Bee Eater is out now on a variety of formats including CD and vinyl and you can buy it from the Emily Brown Bandcamp page. - Various Small Flames

"Emily Brown "Take Me Up Slowly""

Another beautiful song by Emily Brown. “Take Me Up Slowly” has all the ingredients of a classic folk tune. It features an intimate production and lyricism that keeps you hanging on every word.

We enjoy Emily Brown so much, we are ordering a vinyl copy of Bee Eater for our personal collection. Genuine songwriting with an arrangement that always showcases the vocal. The whole listening experience is like a journey back to a magical time in music.

It’s only a matter of time before Bee Eater’s limited run sells out. When it does, someone should release a split 7 inch record with Emily Brown and Willolux. Now that would be amazing. - Modern Music Maker

"New Music | Emily Brown – “Who Can Say”"

Oh, how I love Emily Brown and the mood that she sets with her vocals. This one in particular – it was the first track off of her latest album that I got to hear, which made me fall in love with her instantly. The song comes from Emily’s Bee Eater full-length, and if that’s not the coolest LP name ever, I don’t know what is. Stream it on Spotify with me now! - Queen Beetch


This Goes With Us (2011)

Green Things (2012)

Emily Brown (2016)

Bee Eater (2018)



Emily Brown is a Californian singer-songwriter and poet. Drawing comparisons to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, her clear voice and carefully crafted lyrics draw from personal experience and literary tradition.

Brown’s newest album, Bee Eater, is a full-length record chronicling anxious romantic experience. The record was produced by Lindenfield and mastered by Jack Shirley of The Atomic Garden.