Interview: Emma Louise On The Impulsive Steps That Lead Her To ‘Lilac Everything’
Out September 14th.
Music 1y

Image by Thom Kerr //

Pitching down her vocals to create the character ‘Joseph,’ indie-pop artist Emma Louise has delivered her most ambitious and interesting body of work to date.

Sometimes snap decisions can have huge effects on our lives. You know, like ‘sliding doors’ moments that splinter your life off into whatever path of endless possibilities you are taking. For Australian singer-songwriter Emma Louise, it was drunkenly booking some flights to Mexico, whilst writing a song called ‘Mexico,’ that formed part of the catalyst for her third record Lilac Everything.

Her time in Mexico with little more than a piano fuelled the songwriting spree that became Lilac Everything. And, with her surroundings clearly paying a role in reinvigorating her creative process, she took further action to step away from what people had come to expect from her sonically.

If you’re an established artist with a budding career, changing your sound is something that most people in the industry would urge you to be weary of. However, in dropping down the pitch on the vocals for the entirety of Lilac Everything and imagining a new character, ‘Joseph’, Emma has proven that it takes the boldest steps produce the most fruitful final product.

Lilac Everything will be out everywhere September 14th, and check out our chat with Emma and get an idea the motivations behind what will surely be one of the standout Australian records of 2018:

What was your motivation behind the trip to mexico?

“It was the weirdest thing. One night I was very sad, and a little drunk and I was writing this song called ‘Mexico.’ At that time I didn’t know I was writing a song about Mexico, I just wrote the first lines which had “…so I booked a flight to Mexico,” and I thought, ‘oh did I?’ Then I finished writing the first and second verse and by that stage I was a little bit drunk and still very sad, and I thought fuck it and booked the flight to Mexico. Then the next night I left for Mexico.”

Tell us about Joseph and his character?

“I never really intended on Joseph being a character. When I pitched down my vocals on my first album it was on tape and I heard it and I was like, ‘this is Joseph.’ I thought, I wanna do a whole album with Joseph. My band and I would always joke around about it, and when I actually did it they couldn’t believe it… Joseph is me, I guess, another expression of me.”

When did you decide Joseph would sing in the LP?

“The decision was made on the very last day of overdubs which was so crazy. In the very last stage.”

How are you performing these songs live? How do you get Joseph’s voice?

“We’ve only had one show so far. This is going to be my favourite album to perform live for sure. It’s really special… there’s something super special about the voice pitched down. It took a while to figure out how to do it, and I’ll leave that as a bit of a mystery.”

You have incorporated a lot of flowers into your visual representation, and you reference them in songs like gentleman. Why flowers, is there something symbolic about them?

“I went through a really masculine phase writing the album. I don’t really know how to explain it in words, but I wasn’t expressing my femininity at all. Then I recorded the album, fell in love and got in touch with my feminine side which I don’t think I’d been in touch with since I was 23 or 22.”

“Then I pitched down the vocals which was very masculine, so I wanted express the feminine side of me in the visuals… I wanted it to be masculine versus feminine, or a balance, I suppose.”

Words by Harry Webber September 11, 2018
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