Emily Hurd
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Emily Hurd

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Emily Hurd's menacing piano rendition . . ."

Old Town School of Folk Music Songbook Vols. 2 & 3.
Like an Old Testament of folk music, these compilations -- 42 songs in all -- are both celebration and preservation . . . Emily Hurd's menacing piano rendition of "Hard Travelin" breathes hobo bravado and travelin' blues . . . . - William Michael Smith, Houston Press

". . . piano-driven melodies"

Emily Hurd's “Lines,” her debut album, features piano-driven melodies emphasizing the artist's unique voice. - AEB Media

"Daily Gazette"

About equal parts Shawn Colvin (vocal beauty, heartland roots), Tori Amos (pianistic punch) and Maria Muldaur (bluesy buzz), Hurd displays plenty of charm and chops. In a clear, strong voice, with perfect but unfussy diction, she sings well-made songs. Her sturdy piano style echoes pop styles, New Orleans jelly-roll and playful Vince Guaraldi light jazz. - Michael Hochanadel

". . . an enticing preview"

Singer-songwriter Emily Hurd’s four-song demo is an enticing preview for her full-length CD, Lines. “In Time” and “Fine, Fine Lines” are sensual ballads that feature her husky vocals and fluid piano playing, while “Shadow” gets an engaging acoustic guitar arrangement. Hurd’s gift for quick-rhyming, clever lyrics is also evident on “Sangria,” which has the feel of a Broadway show tune.
– Terrence Flamm - Terrence Flamm - Illinois Entertainer

". . . Emily Hurd lives for live moments"

The Barefoot Session . . .

"The record is built around Hurd's brassy pipes and spirited piano playing, which waltzes and struts like a coy suitor on "I Don't Know How to Leave You Alone" and swings like a Prohibition-era speak-easy on "Taxes." The songs touch on universal themes of love and loneliness, Hurd belting like Russian-American piano-pop diva Regina Spektor on "Prove Me Wrong" and exhaling the words like hazy smoke rings on "Just In Case."

"Recorded live in just under five hours one afternoon this past April at North Branch Studios, the album maintains the teetering-on-the-edge vibe of a live performance."
- Andy Downing - Chicago Tribune


Rivers In My Shoes from her Love In Flats CD . . .
"Janis Joplinesque...Emily is a favorite of mine. A lovely cut"
- Rick Kogan - WGN Radio

". . . impeccably crafted songs"

“Emily Hurd presented impeccably crafted songs.”

- Aaron Cohen - Chicago Tribune

". . . reminiscent of classic jazz, blues and folk."

“The Barefoot Session, a self-produced collection, is the 27-year-old’s third album and has caught the attention of radio stations across the globe. To say Hurd is up-and-coming would be an understatement. She’s no stranger to singing with the gusto that made Janis Joplin a legend, nor is she afraid to hold back while dynamically articulating each message. Hurd’s arrangements are punchy and fresh, and reminiscent of classic jazz, blues and folk. The 13 songs that make up the new album were chosen well, creating a true, well-thought tapestry, containing no throwaways or space-fillers.”

- Jim Hagerty - The Rock River Times

"...more than a touch of Janis"

If it’s not an oxymoron, I like the sense of understated urgency in Emily Hurd’s voice. Now, sure there’s more than a touch of Janis in it, but Emily’s is a more controlled instrument. Maybe that’s what’s so intriguing—sensing that she could belt it out like Big Mama Thornton but she chooses not to—for the most part. It’s good stuff. She plays the piano, she sings, she writes some really good tunes. - WXRT Richard Milne

"...the pianist exocises her demons"

The singer's latest, "A Cache in the Warehouse Floor," reflects gains and losses, swinging from heartbroken balladry ("Broken Down") to the brassy, full-throated exultations of the horn-spiked "Give It Time." This evening's record release show—featuring a full backing band—is a prime opportunity to listen in as the pianist exorcises her demons - The Chicago Tribune- Andy Downing


Lines 2005
Potent One 2006
The Barefoot Session 2006
Love In Flats 2007
A Cache In The Warehouse Floor 2008
Daytime Fireflies 2010
Tins & Pins & Peppermints 2010



Chicago-based songwriter Emily Hurd does not craft tunes for the faint of heart. The wordsmith's live performance showcases her breathtaking vocals, fearless lyrics, and unique piano and ukulele musicianship. Attend one of her shows, and prepare to be swept up in her pianistic punch, vintage grooves, stunning arrangements, and memorable melodies. She is currently in the studio working on her 8th album, "Long Lost Ghosts."

Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Hurd has been touring her native midwest and both coasts of the U.S. for years. Often compared to Regina Spektor and Feist, Hurd has developed a no-excuses performance savvy; what you hear is what she is. Well-traveled and well-versed, she is the quintessential indie national act, performing for growing pockets of loyal followers who revel in her clever rhymes and honest showmanship.

Backed by a band, Hurd blasts through her tunes with Joplinesque soul. She has shared the stage with Bettye Lavette, Ozomatli, and Irma Thomas, to name a few. On her own, she candidly roots her audience into her storytelling and storyselling, and has opened as a solo act for the likes of Roger McGuinn and Geoff Muldaur. Hurd plays live with piano, ukulele, and also harmonica.

As a child, Emily spent most of her upbringing immersed in music. She still counts Hoagie Carmichael, Kris Kristofferson, and Scott Joplin as her biggest musical influences. Through high school, culinary school, and later while getting her BA in Music Business from Columbia College in Chicago, Hurd developed a fondness for Solomon Burke, Mahalia Jackson, The Beatles, Tom Waits, Greg Brown, Mavis Staples, and Lyle Lovett.

"Like most things, songwriting is more a function of being open than it is about skill," Hurd says. Assuming this to be true, her open nature has won her the praise of critics and judges internationally. Her song "The Likes Of You" was a winner in the 2009 International Songwriting Competition and the 2008 Unisong International Songwriting Contest, and "Make a Bed" was a finalist in the 2008 John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

Over the holidays, she released her 7th record of original music, "Tins & Pins & Peppermints." Her past discography includes: "Daytime Fireflies," 2010, "A Cache In The Warehouse Floor," 2008, "Love In Flats," 2007, "Barefoot Session," 2006, "Potent One," 2006, and "Lines," 2005.