Emily Breeze: Rapture

On the 10th of February, in exactly one month, Emily Breeze will be releasing her latest album, Rapture, and we here at Amplify the Noise got a cheeky sneak listen to the album.

Fans of Emily are going to love the album.

New fans to Emily are going to ask themselves why it’s taken them so long to discover her.

Emily describes Rapture as,

A collection of coming-of (middle) age stories which celebrate flamboyant failure, excess and acceptance. I was receiving advice from music industry types to try and hide my age as if it was a dirty secret like an S.T.D or a disgraced royal, so I decided to do the exact opposite.

Emily recorded Rapture at Rockfield Studios with Stew Jackson (Massive Attack) producing and Rob Norbury on lead guitar, Andy Sutor on drums, Helen Stanley on keys/synth, and George Caveney on bass.

Opening the album is “Ordinary Life”, and this song is infectious. Speaking of the inspiration for the song Emily says, 

It’s a quest that involves biblical first loves and tragic one night stands, epic all nighters and the quiet desperation that follows as your dreams disperse like the fronds of a dandelion clock in the cold morning air. You blink, two decades have passed and you become the thing you always despised, a three dimensional, functional adult with reasonable expectations… Or perhaps it’s the theme song to the end of a John Hughes movie set twenty years after Prom night, except it’s not prom night, it’s Butlins and Mike Leigh is directing but Simple Minds and Souxsie Sioux are still sparkling in the spotlight, and so are you.

As I wrote before, the music for “Ordinary Life” gives me U2 vibes. The bass is sticky and sweet while the drums softly harmonise with the bass and the guitar is Edge-esque, pulling everything together in a subtle, stunning, and toe tapping beat. But it is Emily’s voice that makes “Ordinary Life” clutch. 

If Siouxsie Sioux and Chrissie Hynde had a love child, Emily Breeze would be said love child. 

She floats beautifully between spoken word and singing and both are equally hypnotising. In its simplicity “Ordinary Life” is quite complex and that’s what makes it beautiful.

The second track, “The Bell”, is described by Emily as,

A love song to nights spent in the local pub where you swing by for a quick pint after work. You are probably meeting a friend who is having a crisis, just one quick pint and then straight home. Your first glass is empty just as the conversation is getting to the important part but it’s fine, two pints on a work night is totally fine. Crisis friend leaves to put the kids to bed and just as you are putting your jacket on, in walks an old mate who you haven’t seen for ages. Go on then, just a half, oh alright yeah a pint, you have a lot to catch up on. You crack jokes and reminisce in the sepia glow of the golden hour and it is fun. Real actual fun. You talk of good times and desperate times, you’re getting sentimental now, this is some grade A lager fuelled nostalgia. You stop counting drinks as it’s just started raining and somehow everyone you have ever known and loved is here. A Little Richard song comes on the stereo and you declare that soul and rock n roll are the highest forms of art. You seem to be making a speech and enter a heated debate with that weird guy who always sits at the bar as the quiet voice inside telling you to go home surrenders completely to the pub, the conversation, the good tunes, the cold beer and the old friends. Fuck it tomorrows gonna be alright.

“The Bell” continues the infectious beats and U2-esque vibe with hella more attitude and punk angst. This track also solidified for me that is indeed the vocal love child of Siouxsie Sioux and Chrissie Hynde.

The track is upbeat, fun, and pure absolute joy. From the vocals, to the lyrics, to the music, there is not one thing amiss with the song.

With “Oh, Anna Nicole”, Emily gives a nod to the late starlet. No stranger to singing about infamous Americans, Emily has previously given nods to American serial killer, Aileen Wuronos on her Rituals album with the song “Love Song for Aileen Wuronos”. Just like its predecessor, Emily once again dances with details of the persona at hand. 

In “Oh, Anna Nicole”, the bass and drums are hip swaying and hip thrusting, and Emily in vocal synchronicity to the beat makes this song a beautifully inspired burlesque type song. Much like the persona of Anna Nicole Smith, the song is sultry, sexy and exotic.

“Dance With The Rats” has this underlying riff that stalks the listener throughout the entire song. I believe it is the bass and if not, it’s the low end of the guitars that is just wonderful to the ears. The riff makes the song wildly catchy and the lyrics match that snappy upbeat feel to a tee.

Originally released in 2020 as a single, “Confessions Of An Ageing Party Girl” is similar to “Ordinary Life”. The song is spoken and sung and Emily fluidly moves between each with a breathless ease. While the bass seems simple, the continuous slap drives the song forward with the drums. They match the vocal mode of Emily’s voice…a voice that realises it may be time to let go of the partying ways and step into the so called real world. There’s a beautiful sadness to this song that hurts my soul.

“Part Of Me” invokes two feelings – one is a church choir confession and the other is a smokey bar confession. Musically the song is remorseful and solemn, vocally the song is confessional, and lyrically the song seems to be a stream of consciousness of a mind purging whatever thought that pops up. They may not seem to have a connection but they are the words of a person looking in at what is going within the world. What surprised me the most was how low Emily’s voice hit towards the end of the song. I am assuming the low range might not be conducive to her vocal health, but it does add a nice touch to the song by allowing it to end in a sombre and reflective tone.

There is a childlike awe with the music in “Cosmic Evolution” and a sweet and salty sass with the lyrics to the song. It has some of my favourite lyrics from the entire album. “In a major breakthrough, scientists have discovered that you are fabulous. You are a fabulous pain in the ass.” I also love Emily’s vocal range in this song. Like her ability to flow easily between spoken and singing, she allows her range to float between breathless and ethereal to confident swagger in mere notes.

If a song can be ‘a drunk’, then “Turn Me On” is that song. It’s perhaps a drunken lounge singer at the end of their luck and on their last dime. With a downhearted sway in the music and self assurance in the lyrics, Emily confidently sashays through this toe tapping and hips swinging song with uber poise and sex appeal.

Maybe it’s the forlorn guitar that opens the song or the minimalist feel to the music, but there’s something captivating about “Chelsea Satanist”. It’s subtle, sultry, sad mixed with a little bit of 60’s psychedelic vibe at the same time. The song confounds me and intrigues me. My favourite part of the song is as it hits around the 3:50 mark – it takes a psychedelic peace love and tripping your balls off vibe that’s relentlessly infectious.

Also released in 2020 as a single, “Hey Kidz” sounds to my untrained ear that it received a production tweak like “Confessions Of An Ageing Party Girl”. With this song Emily shares her words of wisdom and experience within the music world. Advice on what to do and what not to do. The song is the epitome of swagger. Confident. Reflective. I adore the bass in this song and how the entire song builds to a crescendo and then just falls away to the dust like so many dreams before has and how so many more will crumble.

Luckily, whatever advice Emily has ever been given about her music and her career, good or bad, she forges her own path and does her own thing. 

While the closing track was advice, artists new and old could be more like Emily…do your thing because as Emily sings, “fuck it tomorrows gonna be alright.”

Rapture towers on the fringe between delightfully superb and fucking greatness at the hands of it’s brilliant mad scientist and cosmic creator, Emily Breeze.

It’s a must listen for all.

MUST LISTEN TRACKS: “Turn Me On”, “The Bell” and “Part of Me”

FAVOURITE TRACKS: “Cosmic Evolution” and “The Bell”