On her new album 'Lilac Everything; A Project By Emma Louise', indie pop singer-songwriter Emma Louise was finally able to explore a new dimension of her vocals, a pitched-down version of her voice she dubbed Joseph.
'Lilac Everything' is a stark contrast to her previous albums on which she sang in her normal register. Her new album has all of Emma's vocals performed in the Joseph character she discovered while recording harmonies for her 2013 debut album 'vs Head vs Heart'.
“When I was 19 I heard my vocals slowed down and I loved the sound of low vocals like that, I called them Joseph and I said to my manager and bandmates that I'd like to do a whole album like that one day,” Emma says.
“Then when we were putting on the last harmony for this album we wondered what it sounded like pitched-down and I was like 'yep, that’s the one', and then it felt like the right thing to do with the whole project.”
Emma says the entire album had been written and recorded as she normally does, with the decision to lower her vocals occurring at the last minute. “I didn’t know that it was going to be pitch-down when I was writing it [the album], it was an afterthought,” she says.
“I don’t think I ever really know what an album is going to sound like when I'm writing it. So the album was written and recorded just normally and then in the very last session it got pitched-down.”
Though happy she's been able to fulfil a creative vision, Emma says Joseph is not a permanent change for her but simply an exploration of her artistry. “I don't think I'll continue doing Joseph,” she says.
“I think I'll always do something different with each album, but this chapter is definitely pretty whacky. I didn’t write the album with the concept in mind; they're all very honest songs, the writing is true to my experiences and it was just produced differently.”
The title of the album comes from Emma's other artistic endeavour, painting, and a technique in which the colour lilac is used to illustrate shadows. “I learned that if you want to paint a shadow you can paint it purple, or lilac,” Emma says.
“Then I was driving around and saw lilac everywhere – in the shadows and the road and off the pavement and in the trees. Then one day I was driving along and the title popped into my head; it reminds me of the feeling of the album.”
Emma has already previewed the album with shows in Los Angeles, but says Australian shows are yet to be determined with her focus now diverted to recouping after a prolonged period of work. “I'm pretty burned-out,” she admits.
“My energy supplies are quite low as a human at the moment so I've got to balance – I want to do my album justice because I'm so proud of it, but I also have to take care of myself.”