Emilie & Ogden - 10 000

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2015-11-26

The singer-songwriter label seems to carry a certain burden of expectation for artists to almost simultaneously bare their souls, engage the listener’s subconscious, and display unique attributes of expression. The story of Quebec’s own Emilie Kahn with her musical epiphany begins via a high school performance featuring harpist Sarah Page and The Barr Brothers, which led to an instant search for an instrument tutor and a symbiotic love affair with her harp ‘Ogden’.

This symbiosis is not unheard of amongst many other artists past and present, let Blues guitar legend BB King and his guitar Lucille serve as an accessible example.  Immediate comparisons come to mind are fellow harpist/songstress Joanna Newson - who vocally is more like a quirky Kate Bush - and ethereal enchantress and pianistTori Amos. Upon closer inspection it is revealed that Emilie inhabits her own space, so through the production of Jess MacCormack and assistance of Dominic Lalonde on guitar, Bass, Vocals, Francis Ledoux on Drums, she carves a unique vocal and harmelodical expressive statement with 10 000.

Dancing throughout the 11 songs, is the pixieish playful quality Emilie possesses in her lilting jazzy voice tones which earnestly creep up on you and beguile your ears in a state of lulling surrender. Even if it is only for the album’s duration, it certainly longs for you to tap into the conjoined entity that is Emilie and her harp.

Airy floater 'Blame' initiates the aural experience of 10 000 with swingy arpeggiated chiming which then brings in a tight crisp drum pattern accompanied by a lightly fuzzy bass, gels with effective string/horn contributions in the background. Cleverly conjured headliner 'Ten Thousand' is a an honest relationship admonition in the words ‘I can swim but I don't walk on water I'd never had known if I'd never had bothered in these days I'm a little off balance 'cause I'm a slave to ten thousand talents well I can tell you right now that if you do that again I will up and leave you so fast it will make your head spin’ comparable in sentiment is the alluring narrative ‘Long Gone’. A fervour fuelled flowing ‘White Lies’ keeps the tension built up leading into a fetching epic string finale. The accompanying songs are equally attractive and arty, which is why Emilie possesses a mantle for timeless songwriting in captivating originals as the soulful ‘What Happened’ and abstract ‘Dream’.

Emilie is able without a doubt to connect with her audience by personalising her work in which she has deeply enjoined with Ogden, to create this ornate package of heartfelt expressions and relationship experiences.

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