Miss Emily Brown: In Technicolor
By Nereida Fernandes (February 2010)
Miss Emily Brown’s sophomore album is perfectly represented by its title and the lace doily pictured on the front cover. As her tracks weave in and out of complementary musical styles, vivid yet delicate colours of sound, emanating from a fiddle, an Autoharp and a pianet, are superimposed over one another, resulting in a decadent effect. The lo-fi electronic pop, reminiscent of Frou Frou on opener “Septuagesima,” is an unexpected welcome. Then there’s the Norah Jones-like title track and the music box merry-go-round of “To Make Love Stay,” all of them bound by the same sweet, tuneful voice. Based in Iroquois, ON, Miss Brown invites us to explore her family history with lyrics inspired by her grandmother’s WWII journal. The songwriting concept is brilliant and one for which she was granted funding by the Canada Council for the Arts. Ironically, In Technicolor is so compelling vocally, and sonically, with its eclectic mix of instrumentation, that it somewhat eclipses her eloquent poetry. But that just means you have something else to focus on by the billionth listen ― hardly a drawback.