Through bridging the traditional sounds of her homeland in Ontario to those of her current home in Limerick, the new EP ‘Throwing Shapes‘ from Emily Jean Flack is perhaps her most accomplished work to date – showcasing her gorgeously pure vocals and the Celtic music she was raised with, whilst injecting cool electronic textures to create a genre-spanning mix that defies expectations and delivers on every level. Produced by Belfast native Peter Wallace, and mixed by three-time Grammy Award winner David Bottrill, ‘Throwing Shapes’ also features guest performances by two Irish folk stars, whistle and flute player Brian Finnegan from the band Flook and guitarist Marty Barry.
“Although I come from a traditional instrumental folk background, I’ve always listened to so many other styles of music. And my own music has always been more personal, more modern and more contemporary. Being in Ireland is wonderful in the sense that it’s so culturally rich, but there is a ferocity and sense of independence within the music. It’s not cute or quaint. It’s quite raw and organic. Ireland has offered me an environment to openly make the music that moves me”
Harnessing an impeccable musical lineage as the daughter of Denise Flack – a member of the groundbreaking Celtic-pop band Leahy, Emily Jean Flack grew up immersed in traditional Irish music and dance. Emily cites her mother as her main influence and inspiration, with her family experiences being what has given her both an undeniable stage presence and an aptitude for performance. Her first public rendition was at an Irish Ceilidh near Peterborough, Ontario where she sang “Katie” by Mary Black, accompanied by her aunt on piano. Despite this being a small performance, this clearly had a profound effect of her maturing musically at an early age, and she had been quoted as saying that this moment felt in some small way that she was following in her mother’s footsteps. Her love of ceilidhs and festivals meant that her eventually uprooting to Ireland was a transition was one that was both effortless and empowering.
Through honing her craft while studying for a Masters in Traditional Music at the University of Limerick, vocalist, songwriter, musician and dancer Emily has spent her life surrounded by music and musicians, but has always harnessed a keenness to express her influences in a way which was entirely her own. Despite the dynamic and joyous feel to her music, there is an inherent degree of heartbreak behind the veil, which emotionally, allows the tracks to feel more wholesome and real. With the spirit of the Emerald Isle permeating her material, Emily also incorporates jazz, pop and Americana influences to create a sound that she describes as progressive folk. Lyrically, the concept of love is explored in all its various forms, with all of her songs coming from a degree of personal experience – Love is hard, love is beautiful, love is worth the fight.
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