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Emma Gale – ‘Emma Gale’

by Thomas Bedward March 17, 2022

Emma Gale – ‘Emma Gale’

It wasn’t too long ago that we were championing the release of Emma Gale’s latest single and announcing the news of her debut solo album. Described as an “accidental indie-folk artist”, Emma has been a quiet achiever of late, delivering impressive singles like ‘Showbiz’ and ‘Let’s See What the Earth Has to Say’ to critical acclaim, but today, with the release of her long-awaited album, she’s made her mark on the independent scene loud and clear.

Delivering a joyous mix of folk sounds, Emma’s self-titled release is an impressive mix of sounds, styles, and textures, touching on home values and global issues with an expressive, almost poetic refrain. While previous singles shine as bright as ever, bringing a welcome sense of familiarity to the mix, it’s some of the new tracks have the biggest effect, offering a wave of timeless touches and emotive moments that will draw you in and leave you speechless.

Ballads such as ‘Meet You At The Bridge’ and the wonderfully reflective ‘She’ll Never Be Me’ hit hardest, showcasing a more emotive and vulnerable side to Emma’s style, but they also act as an impressive contrast to some of the more upbeat and triumphant pieces. Accompanied by acclaimed and award-winning songwriter and composer Dan Whitehouse, Emma shapes tracks like ‘Love Got the Better of Me’ perfectly, holding its own as a sweet and poignant track about falling for someone. Elsewhere, rueful romance sounds take flight in ‘Tonight’s The Night’, while ‘Sorry’ carries the weight of a cathartic country confessional about how easy it can be to harm a relationship. It’s all an incredibly personal and expressive experience, and Emma’s vocals carry the emotion with absolute clarity.

An album nine years in the making, ‘Emma Gale’ has been a true labour of love, as the talented singer and songwriter explained, “The album started out as quite an eclectic mix of different styles and genres – there were pop, acoustic and rock songs created at different times. As the album progressed, Americana quickly became the focus and worked really well across the material, bringing a nostalgic and soulful sound to the body of work which I hope will really pull on people’s heartstrings.”

Joined by a brilliant ensemble which includes her husband, Peter Kirkbride, Chris Pepper, Melvin Duffy, Nik Newark, Tanya Brittain, Angus Lyon, and Robbie Mcintosh, along with production by Boo Hewerdine, Emma’s debut album is a beautifully crafted release that combines several of her best-loved singles with a beautiful stream of new tracks. The very hallmark of what an eponymous album should be, ‘Emma Gale’ is everything that we’ve come to expect from the talented artist and more, layering stark indie-folk anthems with heart, soul, and plenty of intimate moments.

Score: 8/10

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