“her voice is a mercurial weapon.” – exclaim!
Miss Emily Brown is now performing under her birth name, Emily Millard.
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 six 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. After the release of two subsequent EPs and two full-length records with band Morlove, Miss Emily Brown is currently preparing to record her next highly anticipated full-length solo album, to be released in autumn 2016. This album will mark a shift to performing under her birth name, Emily Millard.
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, but 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 to the coveted 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.