Following last year’s E.P. S, Emmy The Great embarks on a wider and more introspective exploration of her technological anxiety.
In the five years since her last full album, Emma-Lee Moss has filled her time globe-trotting and contributing to the world of cultural journalism, and it’s a lifestyle that weighs heavily on Second Love.
Remaining as lyrically dense as she's been in any previous work, songs such as “Algorithm” and “Hyperlink” take detached standpoints on the death of human interaction as it paves way to the lonely world of phones, apps and headphones. A personal fear and loathing of the future creeps throughout the record, illuminated clearest in the sense of un-belonging that leads “Constantly”, addressing the depressing struggle of Generation-Y through a globalised planet as they try to find something to do with their lives.
Scattered throughout these bleak considerations are gentle and inviting, if occasionally clichéd reminders of how powerful a thing love can be in the face of such isolation.
With Moss focusing on digital production techniques more intensley than ever before, as well as recording in more than thirty different places with two producers, a mixing engineer and a catalogue of established talents giving input, there’s less of a strong or consistent sonic character identifiable here than in the warm and roomy First Love and Virtues, but the instrumental arrangements are still deeply immersive. Among the ethereal synthesizers, processed drums and reverb soaked guitars that serve as the album's backdrop, distant sirens pierce the ambience of “Algorithm” and monotonous, digitally affected voices harmonise with the hooks in “Swimming Pool” and “Phoenix”.
In another step away from her new-folk singer-songwriter roots, Emmy The Great has delivered with a well-considered venture into a wider, colder, dystopian world.