Miss Emily Brown
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Miss Emily Brown

Heriot Bay, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | SELF | AFM

Heriot Bay, British Columbia, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2003
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter




"Miss Emily Brown – Wire Wood Wind"

Everyone has that one component within a piece of music that they’re able to gravitate towards more than any other. It can be as simple as drawing an audience in with lovely high-rising vocal harmonies, or it could all depend on whether the primary songwriter is able to captivate and utterly absorb their listener within the themes and topics that their lyrics touch upon. For me personally, I happen to fall firmly into the latter category. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the countless other facets that go into crafting a beautiful track or a captivating full-length, but the ability to weave a compelling narrative, to recount a distant memory, or even to create a track that embraces the art of a fictional scenario is what I’m often unequivocally drawn towards. Thankfully, there are independent artists such as the lovely, Emily Millard (who performs under the moniker of Miss Emily Brown), that place an enormous amount of emphasis and attention to detail within every individual lyric they put to paper. At times her words are cloaked in metaphorical wordplay, and at other times they’re alarmingly direct and intent upon wounding, yet when you also factor in the poetic flair, the inventive instrumentation, and the fleeting traces of nostalgic melancholy found in even her earliest recordings, it becomes clear that Millard’s tracks are as inviting as they are beautifully and thoughtfully written.

After releasing her vastly underappreciated debut full-length, Part Of You Pours Out Of Mein the spring of 2008, it marked a relatively quiet entrance into the Canadian independent music scene. However, for those fortunate enough to have stumbled across it, audiences were treated to an unsettling soundscape featuring prominent autoharps, tip-toeing piano lines, and in some cases, even the unmistakable presence of creeping keys. Yet, as splendid as the debut undoubtedly was, it wasn’t until the release of her sophomore effort, In Technicolor did the praise and accolades begin to belatedly weave their way towards Millard. The record itself was heavily inspired by, and revolved around the concept of harrowing entries inside of a World War II journal written by Millard’s own grandmother. Arguably the finest and most powerful aspect of the album resided in its ability to resonate with not only a mass audience, but also the manner in which it incorporated just enough vibrancy to enclose even the most subdued listener within a historic era where the days were wrought with uncertainty and bleakness. To put it simply,In Technicolor instructed us to thoroughly analyze how the past connects to the future, and it did so with tremendous results.

When the time comes, it may well prove difficult to top such an elegant record. But in the meantime, Miss Emily Brown is preparing to release a special three-track extended play titled, Wire Wood Wind in order to raise the necessary funds it will take to acquire a brand new, custom made autoharp after her previous heirloom was stolen late last summer. The EP, which was recorded two months prior to the instrument having been thieved, was recorded on a beautiful afternoon within a Berlin studio with producer Martyn Heyne (Efterklang, Gyda Valtysdottir), and although it has a duration of merely fourteen minutes, these three tracks could potentially give listeners a tantalizingly brief glimpse in to what could well be the future direction Miss Emily Brown wishes to explore and pursue in her upcoming studio recordings.

The album dazzles immediately with signature autoharp flourishes and the delicate strumming of an acoustic guitar signaling the arrival of album opener, “Man On Wire”. There’s an unmistakable simplicity ingrained within the production, for you can hear the distant crackling of static and faint echoing vocal effects as Millard’s voice dances into the mix. “Black, the forest floor / what was all the flaming for? / Back to ash and soil, breaking down to grow once more.” It’s a voice that trembles marginally as she fluctuates between a lower register delivery and that of an occasional fleeting falsetto. But as the chorus begins to unfold like a tapestry, as the autoharp is played with a little more urgency and the guitars wail with slightly more purpose, Millard sings with a newfound sense of enlightenment and conviction, “Man on the wire balancing perfectly until he looked down / saw it all so clearly / city parks smoldering, foundations crumbling / she tore the blindfold off, and she showed you everything.” Towards the latter portion of the track’s five minute duration, there’s even subtle organs and minor key piano notes driving “Man On Wire” to its inaudible conclusion, but not before Millard utters one final spirited lyric, “This illusion cannot last.”

Before long it quickly becomes apparent that these three tracks are connected by the recurring theme surrounding nature, and there’s no finer example found on Wire Wood Wind that emphasizes this more accurately tha - Absolutepunk, Broden Terry

"Little Miss Awesome"

There's something deeply unsettling about Part of You Pours Out Of Me, the debut album from Miss Emily Brown. Even though she's got a gorgeous voice, the way she backs it up with slightly out-of-tune autoharps and ghostly-sounding music boxes makes it seem like you're listening to some relic from a place other than this world. Throw in the fact she has a predilection for making baroque-tinged jazz-folk (see "She's a Ghost In The House"), and you've got a reciple for one creepy album.

I should note, of course, that it's not all spine-tingling. A track like "Love Don't Come Cheap", for example, is a fairly straightforward (and extremely lovely) duet, while the soft tones of album opener "Sleeping Lions" give little hint as to what's in store for anyone who ventures any further in. But any warm and fuzzy vibes you may get from those tracks are more than offset by the aforementioned ghostly music boxes, with "Heirloom Interloom" and "Sadswan Interlude" coming out of nowhere to give you the heebie-jeebies, and "Alpaca Antique Robbery" ending up the album on such a haunting note that you're not likely to leave Part of You Pours Out Of Me without feeling at least a little freaked out.

Of course, it's a good freaked out, since once you get past the oddness of it all you're still left with some outstanding songs. I'm not sure whether Miss Emily Brown is actually modern-day artist or if she's really a vengeful ghost from the past (the songs below, from her CBC Radio 2 concert last December, would suggest the former), but whoever she is, she's made an album worth checking out...though you might want to keep the lights on when you're doing so. - i(heart)music

"Miss Emily Brown's In Technicolor"

Miss Emily Brown's sophomore album is perfectly represented by its title and the lace doily pictured on the front cover. As her tracks weave in and out of complementary musical styles, vivid yet delicate colours of sound, emanating from a fiddle, an Autoharp and a pianet, are superimposed over one another, resulting in a decadent effect. The lo-fi electronic pop, reminiscent of Frou Frou on opener "Septuagesima," is an unexpected welcome. Then there's the Norah Jones-like title track and the music box merry-go-round of "To Make Love Stay," all of them bound by the same sweet, tuneful voice. Based in Iroquois, ON, Miss Brown invites us to explore her family history with lyrics inspired by her grandmother's WWII journal. The songwriting concept is brilliant and one for which she was granted funding by the Canada Council for the Arts. Ironically, In Technicolor is so compelling vocally, and sonically, with its eclectic mix of instrumentation, that it somewhat eclipses her eloquent poetry. But that just means you have something else to focus on by the billionth listen? Hardly a drawback. - Exclaim!

"Song of the Day, Halloween 2007 - CBC Radio 3"

Miss Emily Brown's "She's a Ghost in the House" harkens back to an almost medieval sound, best suited to a harpsichord or dulcimer. It is inherently creepy, too. Add Miss Emily Brown's lilting voice to the mix, and even my cynical heart skips a beat.

- Craig Norris, CBC Radio 3 - CBC Radio 3

"Review from Robson Valley Music Festival, July 2007"

Emily is a star on the rise. She is unique, she is confident, and anyone who had the honour of hearing her this year would agree that she weaves a spell.

- Shara Gustafson, Artistic Director, Robson Valley Music Festival - Shara Gustafson, Artistic Director, Robson Valley Music Festival

"Review from Artswells Festival, July 2007"

A hidden jewel of Canada's indie music scene, Miss Emily Brown's creative compositions are at the same time riveting and mesmerizing.

- Ruthie Sumiko Tabata, Artswells Festival Co-Director - Ruthie Sumiko Tabata, Artswells Festival Co-Director

"CD Review: Miss Emily Brown"

Miss Emily Brown
Part of You Pours Out of Me (independent)
Describing Miss Emily Brown’s music as “neo-folk” doesn’t really do it justice. True, there is a somewhat folky quality to her winsome voice and a number of her songs are guitar-based, but her preference for electronica and jazz influences (helped along, no doubt, by the efforts of local-producer-with-an-ear-for-talent Corwin Fox) decidedly move this strong 12-song debut out of the “folk” bin. Nimbly negotiating musical terrain trailblazed by the likes of Fiona Apple, Veda Hille, Ani Difranco and Laura Veirs, Part of You Pours Out of Me offers wonderfully poppy tracks like “Sleeping Lions” and “Spindrift,” while “What Sort of Bird Are You?” evokes more of a Death Cab for Cutie vibe. And the appearance of Jeremy Fisher as producer for the moody Jill Tracy-esque cut “She’s a Ghost in the House” also shows the level of interest in this emerging artist. If her name sounds familiar, it’s likely from her work with Hey Ocean! and Karmetik Underground, but Miss Emily Brown is a talent worth catching in her own right.
mondaymag.com/articles/entry/cd-review-miss-emily-brown - JOHN THRELFALL. MONDAY MAGAZINE, VICTORIA, BC

"Miss Emily Brown"

“Harpe,guitare, boîtes à musique, orgue, xylophone, violon... Miss Emily Brown a su créer dans ce disque un véritable univers enchanteur. Il y a un peu de Coco Rosie là dedans si l'on veut absoluement la rapprocher d'autres artistes. C'est à écouter calmement, chez soit,en pause cocooning. Folk jazzy avec une voix douce et volage, c'est un MUST !”
-Gloomy Happy Freaky Days Music Blog

http://gloomydays.canalblog.com/archives/2009/03/03/12795883.html - Gloomy Happy Freaky Days Music Blog

"CBC Bandwidth Top 12 Albums of 2008"

"Part of You Pours Out Of Me' combines Miss Emily's gift for gothic lyrics with the creepy and beautiful music boxes... and a voice that sends chills up my spine."

Adam And The Amethysts "Amethyst Amulet"
Jill Barber "Chances"
Matthew Barber "Ghost Notes"
The Born Ruffians "Red, Yellow And Blue"
Miss Emily Brown "Part of You Pours Out of Me"
Fred Eaglesmith "Tinderbox"
Kathleen Edwards "Asking For Flowers"
Elliott Brood "Mountain Meadows"
Friends Of Skeleton Park compilation CD
Lynne Hanson "Eleven Months"
Zaki Ibrahim "Eclectica"
The Wooden Sky "When Lost At Sea" - Alan Neal, CBC Radio

"Comme un Dimanche Matin"

“Il y a quelques jours, je suis tombé par hasard sur "Part Of You Pours Out Of Me" le premier album de Miss Emily Brown. Et là, belle surprise. Miss Emily Brown vient du Canada, et compose une musique qui fait vraiment du bien aux oreilles. Un soupçon de CallMeKat dans la voix, une pincée de CocoRosie dans ses compositions, elle nous sert une pop Lo-fi qui tient vraiment bien la route. De quoi vous éveiller en douceur ou rêver encore quelques instants...“

-Streetkiss Music

http://www.streetkiss.com/music/index.php?post/2009/01/03/Comme-un-dimanche-matin - Streetkiss Music

"In Technicolor - Praise for M.E.B.'s latest"

Miss Emily Brown has accomplished a feat of marrying history and plain old-fashioned story telling into a compelling and delicately assembled package of distinctive folk-pop ear candies.
Emily's ear is highly developed and this recording exhibits her innate sense of how to simultaneously gently punctuate a storyline while lining a lyric with music. She never overwhelms either part of the piece she's crafted and leaves it up to the listener to choose whether she will taste one aspect of the tune or let the song wash over, capturing all the nuances at once. In Technicolor is a genuinely impressive achievement.
-Amanda Putz
October 26, 2009 - Amanda Putz, CBC Radio 2, Host of Bandwidth


2011 - Wire wood Wind EP
2010 - Sum of All Parts EP
2010 - In Technicolor
2008 - Part of You Pours Out Of Me



Fusing the art-forms of poetry and song, Canadian performer Miss Emily Brown bravely navigates the space between silence and sound. Intuiting a careful mixture of eclectic instruments with her unmistakable voice, Brown delivers decadently visual lyrics with pin-drop power. In five short years, she has produced four solo albums and three collaborative albums with West Coast chamber-folk ensemble Morlove.

Her debut album Part of You Pours Out of Me marked a graceful entrance onto Canada’s independent music scene and named was one of the top twelve albums of 2008 by CBC Radio’s Bandwidth. In January 2010 Emily’s sophomore album In Technicolor was put forward for the 2010 Polaris Prize as well as a Canadian Folk Music Award for “Pushing the Boundaries” and took her to the top five nominees for CBC Radio 3’s Bucky Award for Best New Artist. Miss Emily Brown is currently preparing to record her next, highly anticipated full-length album.

Emily grew up in Iroquois, Ontario, peering over the banks of the St. Lawrence River at remnants of the old sunken village. She studied poetry at the University of Victoria and vocal jazz composition at Selkirk College in Nelson BC. She sang in jazz clubs. She fingerpicked her way from open mics to folk festivals. And as she composed, she dug in auntie’s closets for autoharps and toy guitars. In Jeremy Fisher’s Vancouver living room, and in Corwin Fox’s Victoria studio, Miss Emily Brown recorded her first full release, Part of You Pours Out of Me. Called “wonderfully poppy” and “winsome” by Monday Magazine and “un véritable univers enchanteur” by the bloggers, the record is soft and nostalgic.

With the success of Part of You Pours Out of Me, Miss Emily Brown toured to scores of festivals and venues across Canada and the US in 2008-2009, opening for such acts as Mother Mother and Vetiver. In the winter of 2009, Emily was the recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts grant to research and write her second album, In Technicolor. The project began with her grandmother’s wartime journal and developed into a complex compendium of songs dealing with themes of femininity and independence under extreme duress. Glittered with references from the 1940’s and 50’s, In Technicolor is a frenzy of Hammond organ, flugelhorn, autoharps, guitar, violin, drum machines and music box, representing Miss Brown’s most in-depth work yet.

In November 2010 she released surprise EP Sum of All Parts on a national tour with Jeremy Fisher and directly jumped the pond for her debut tour of Germany supporting Alin Coen Band. On her days off in Berlin, Miss Brown joined forces with with Martyn Heyne (Efterklang) to record EP Wire Wood Wind, which she released in March 2011 to raise funds to replace her dear stolen autoharp.

Meanwhile, Emily teamed up with composer/producer Corwin Fox to form the neo-folk duo Morlove. Lush and delicate, experimental yet familiar, Morlove’s sound layers hushed vocal harmonies, rich string arrangements and subtle percussion. Recent release Old Tomorrow (April 2013) is a collection of songs that explore the nature of patterns, composed at the Banff Centre for the Arts and recorded in a geodesic dome on Quadra Island BC. The album comes as a follow-up to their debut release All of My Lakes Lay Frozen Over (April 2010), recorded in a tiny church in snowy Wells BC and put forward for the Polaris Prize. “We want to make music that is unhurried and fully-developed like tea left to steep for a long, long time,” Emily comments.

From clashing chordal girl-pop to timeless ballads to perfect little folk songs, her live shows descend into shattering music box interludes and singing, a careful mixture of treasured instruments, and any number of eclectic musical guests. Understated, surprising and genuine, her craft verges on the elemental and timeless. Her touch is careful. Her music is oceanic, huge.

“Miss Emily Brown’s voice is a mercurial weapon.” – exclaim!

Band Members