Emily is an *artist* in the truest sense of the word. She doesn’t follow current trends – she creates them. This bold and sassy record not only reveres folk music and its lore but also climaxes the immense power of voice as an instrument of music that evokes emotions unimaginable. It makes my whole body shiver – in a good way.
Favorite track: Pines.
Why make a record solely containing the human voice? Emily Lacy's 16th release in 10 years, and her first on vinyl, begs the question and lingers there, wondering at you. Investigating the dark origins of the American political system, and it's accompanying musical folklore, as well as a public caught in multiple cycles of century-long violence, we wonder what has really changed since a period in the 1600's when ballad-style folk singing was brought over on ships through continuous generations of humanity, and evolved in regions of what became the United States. The record leaves you off-balance, thinking of mountain harmonies and exploded cathedrals, the smell of smoke, revolution, and how everything's just more computerized now. You're asking Who are we? How did we get here? We still sing about murder, death, loss, disappointment, choice, and joy, and the half of the record which is comprised of Lacy's original songs, reflects that in a contemporary sense of alarm and emergency, occupying a space both eerie and familiar. Time slows down, when hearing a single voice bellowing out into a giant space by itself. The shape of time changes. There’s something primal, and animal-like, in a wail or a cry fused with language, with no instruments there to accompany it, that just grabs at you. There's nowhere to really hide.
“Emily Lacy is a reminder that social change is always most effective through the sword of art. Her voice, a dark coil of modern loop machines, could just as easily be heard coming from the lips of a depression era camp, pulled together around a fire, wondering what the land beneath their feet means, and whether or not their journeys are worth it” Nikki Darling, who has written for the Los Angeles Times, LA Record, LA WEEKLY, and Artbound
“A lonesome, country holler echoed off a distant star, its resonance deepened by the vast darkness between. I hear this voice gowned in ancient light, Emily Lacy's enduring shimmer, and feel heart” Andrew Berardini, who has written for Artforum, Artslant, Mousse Magazine, and Momus
“Emily Lacy has a voice that calls across time, searching through American myths for what's strong and true ” Margaret Wappler, who has written for Rolling Stone, Elle, the Los Angeles Times, and The Believer
released December 10, 2015
All vocals by Emily Lacy
Recorded by Scott Barber at the Barber Shop Recording Studios in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles
Album art features two paintings by Emily Lacy. Front cover: "Singing as an act of resistance". Back cover: "The scales of justice are breaking my neck". Acrylic on canvas.
Emily Lacy is a folk and electronic sound artist generating works in music, film, and other media. Seen at PS1 MOMA, MCA
Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hammer Museum, the Walker Art Center, LACMA, and DIY spaces all throughout America. Her new psychedelic band experiment, Gemstone Forest, began in 2018 and features a vibrant cast of unique improvisers and collaborators....more