Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Vena Portae out now!

It's been over four years in the making (even though the actual recording itself lasted just twelve bitterly cold, snowy days in the winter of 2012), but now it's here: Vena Portae.

I'm so, so happy with the way this has all come together. Written, arranged and recorded with dear friends, and now I get to tour with them for two weeks too!

We've had some wonderful reviews, plus recommendations from a few of our favourite independent record stores (some of which we'll be making an appearance at over the coming days). I'm particularly pleased with finally having achieved a very good review in The Guardian, who said the album has "a thoughtful, melodic style that eases between Americana and pop-edged alt-folk" and awarded it 4 stars, and then went on to list the album in its picks of the week...

"So where can I buy it?" I hear you ask... well, there are so many options:

...and of course from some wonderful independent record stores - I can't list them all but here's just a few (if you have a local record store, please go and buy the album there - the folks in independent record stores are some of the hardest working and most under-appreciated people in the music industry and the vast majority really do only do it for the love of music - they also generally know more about music than anyone else in the industry, and some of them serve coffee and pies) - so starting with the ones where we'll be making an appearance:

Rise (in Cheltenham, Worcester and Bristol)
Banquet (Kingston)
Pie & Vinyl (Southsea)
Sound Knowledge (Marlborough)
Union Music Store (Lewes)
Music's Not Dead (Bexhill-on-Sea)
Sound It Out (Stockton-on-Tees)

and then other great indie stores including Truck in Oxford, Piccadilly in Manchester, Jumbo and Crash in Leeds, Rough Trade, Resident in Brighton... oh, the list goes on - in fact, here's a great website for finding where your nearest record stores are.

And finally, if you want to check the album out before committing to a purchase, you can do that on Spotify if you have an account or here on the Vena Portae website.

Looking forward to seeing as many of you as can make it to the shows...
Emily x

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Vena Portae debut album, video and tour

Vena Portae
Dear all,

Alongside everything that's been going on for the past few years, I've also had a side-project brewing away…

It's called Vena Portae and it's a Swedish/Anglo/Aussie collaboration with Swedish producer/engineer/multi-instrumentalist Ruben Engzell (who, incidentally, produced my first solo album Photos.Fires.Fables.) and English theatre maker/songwriter Dom Coyote. Jesper Jonsson, also from Sweden, will join us for the live shows and also appears on the record.

You may remember me blogging about some songs I wrote with Dom over three years ago, which is where I first mentioned the Vena Portae name. Vena Portae means 'vein portal' in Latin; it’s a short vein that carries blood to the liver. As we were writing the songs, we were finding inspiration in ideas of roads, rivers, creative openings, connections between people, places and life force, which is how we came by the name. It really does have nothing to do with drinking alcohol. Honest.

In the winter of 2012, Ruben, Dom and I visited the tiny Swedish town of Mölnbo just outside Stockholm. We found ourselves snowed in (like most of northern Europe at that time). With little else to occupy ourselves, we decided to build a make shift studio in the study of Ruben's parents' house. We filled it to the rafters with analogue equipment, spring reverbs, electric guitars, banjos, pianos and an array of weird and wonderful instruments. Over the space of the next twelve days, we set about recording some of those songs that Dom and I had started over a year before. And we wrote some new songs too. And the result: a treasure trove of songs, inspired by heartbreak, passion, and intrigue, which together make up the album we are now about to release: Vena Portae.

Vena Portae is our debut album and we're all incredibly proud of it. It comes out on August 18th and you can pre-order it (along with some limited edition special bits and bobs) HERE.

Our good friend Brett Harvey made this rather wonderful little video to accompany our first single 'Summer Kills' - he used the original album version of the track, though the single now available on iTunes is the super cool remix by Peter Morén of Peter, Bjorn and John.

I really hope you enjoy this music as much as we have enjoyed making it - and for those of you close enough, we hope to see you at one of our summer shows (see below).

Very best wishes,

Vena Portae tour
15 Stroud, The Goods Shed
16 Dermot O'Leary - live Radio 2 session
17 Beautiful Days Festival, Devon
18 Cheltenham, Rise (FREE instore show, 2pm), Worcester, Rise (FREE instore show, 5pm)
19 Bristol, Rise (FREE instore show, 6pm)
20 Kingston, Banquet (FREE instore show, 6pm)
21 Southsea, Square Tower
22 Marlborough, Sound Knowledge (FREE instore show, 6.30pm)
23 Lewes, Union Music Store (FREE instore show, 3pm), Bexhill, Music's Not Dead (FREE instore show, 6pm)
24 Purbeck Folk Festival
25 Winchester, Swiss Cottage
26 Birmingham, Kitchen Garden Cafe
27 London, Green Note
29 Durham, Old Cinema Launderette
30 Manchester, Castle Hotel

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Shadow Line on London Live TV

Hello there,
Some of you may remember the awesome noir thriller, 'The Shadow Line' by Hugo Blick, which was broadcast as a seven-part series on BBC2 back in 2011...?
Well it's now airing on London Live!
And in case you weren't aware, the opening and closing theme is a song of mine called 'Pause' which was adapted by Martin Phipps (composer) for the series.
This is it...

And this is the original...

Monday, 28 April 2014

Germany and Netherlands Tour

Hello friends in Germany and Netherlands,

'Dear River' is now out and available in Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium & Luxembourg!

Gill Sandell (of The Red Clay Halo) and I are about to embark on a duo headline tour of Germany, with a couple of shows in the Netherlands too. To celebrate, we made this little video of ourselves playing the title track of the album - hope you enjoy it as much as all the outtakes prove that we did (we might share those with you another time!)…

Our exceptionally talented friend, the awesome Chris T-T , will be opening most of the shows and John Allen will also join us in Berlin and Hamburg.
Here are the dates below...

Tues May 13th - Studio 672, Köln (DE) w Chris T-T
Weds May 14th - Kellerklub, Stuttgart (DE) w Chris T-T
Thurs May 15th - Nachtleben, Frankfurt (DE) w Chris T-T
Fri May 16th - Milla, München (DE) w Chris T-T
Sat May 17th - Cafe Wagner, Jena (DE)**
Sun May 18th - Grüner Salon, Berlin (DE) w Chris T-T and John Allen
Mon May 19th - Fabrik, Hamburg (DE) w Christ T-T and John Allen
Tues May 20th - kunst- und kulturverein spedition e.V., Bremen (DE) w Chris T-T
Weds May 21st - Burgerweeshuis café, Deventer (NL) w Chris T-T
Thurs May 23rd - Patronaat Café, Haarlem (NL)**

**without Chris T-T

Hope to see you at one of the shows!
Best wishes,
Emily x

ps. Here's a little video Chris and I made on our tour bus when we toured the UK last October and November...