Author: Zoe Ettinger
London-based artist, Emaé’s, recently released track, Better, is a simplistic revelation, a model of what vocal power can accomplish.
Better, and Emaé’s style, are akin to the likes of Adele and the late Amy Winehouse. I would not make those comparisons without real reason. Her soulful sound comes from deep within, and its perfectly matched with her deeply powerful lyrics. Her lyrics are amplified by her voice, and a simple classic piano is the perfect complement. Better breathes new life into the soul-inspired nouveau soul of the 21st century. This nouveau soul is a recreation from the foundations laid down by legends like Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday. Her style reminds me of old Hollywood. It could perhaps be a soundtrack to a deeply moving film. If you have the chance to watch the video, you’ll see what I mean as it seems to stylistically echo traditional soul.
Emaé’s sound is very unique, as she hails from Scotland, not exactly the place you think of when you think soul singer. However, this gives her an advantage as she brings a fresh perspective and slight accent that makes her sound so original. Better seems to be a coming-of-age story at its denouement. She has lived and learned, and her lyrics reveal her wisdom. She states “don’t sell yourself to someone else for dirt cheap”. This lyric really stuck with me throughout the piece, as we’ve all had experiences of feeling taken advantage of and used. Yet she doesn’t come off jaded, but rather well-lived. A meaningful life isn’t necessarily one full of happiness, but rather a picture painted with a thousand different colors of emotion. She is an exemplar of female power, transposing the old into the modern age through raw talent.
This track will tug at your heartstrings, and is certainly not one to be missed.