What a curious mixture this artist is.  Born in Bristol but of Czech origins and now residing in Berlin.  Her delivery is a sultry, compelling sound that leans sometimes towards her place of birth (from just up the road the band Portishead is certainly an influence) but then the Berlin effect is there too.  She sometimes weaves some dubstep, techno styles into her work but Emika can, by no means, be pigeon holed amongst the underground dance culture artists of that great city.

Indeed it is almost impossible to stick any kind of “genre” label on her.  The atmospheric, bass-heavy sound and crystalline vocals heard on many of her tracks tells you she is a deep, soulful kind of singer while on others she slides effortlessly into a different kind of world of sound altogether.  She says she likes it this way, so good luck to her with that.  She is, though, a talented performer who writes and records many of her own songs while at the same time is not afraid to lean on the odd classic or two.

Take for example that superlative song from American singer-songwriter Chris Isaak. “Wicked Game” featured on his album “Heart Shaped World” in 1989 and the slow burning, country melodic sound received critical acclaim worldwide.  A song of haunting lyrics and beautiful guitar work it has been covered by many other artists since and Emika has made a superb job of it!  Her version captures all of the qualities of the original with a delivery that reminds you of the Irish singer Sinead O’Connor. 

On this song Emika has the kind of hypnotic voice that you cannot help but listen to in depth – it draws you in, making you want to close your eyes and listen to every word.  There is emotion in the lyrics and she has portrayed those emotions in her own, unique way.  While she, like most singers, draws on influences from her past or all around her there is no doubt that she delivers a style that is, ultimately, all her own.

It will not be to everyone’s taste but this artist is not afraid to use the sleek, sophisticated sonics provided by the influential Berlin music software company Native Instruments.  However, at other times, she lets the power of her voice take centre stage, citing no need for technological enhancement. This is a rising talent that has been around for only a few years but seems destined to be around for quite some time yet.

 

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