“This is the suburb where we found love.” This is the first line of Emma Louise’s song, West End Kids, featured on her newly released album Supercry.
With powerfully evocative lyrics, there’s no denying the 25-year old indie pop artist’s talent, expressed with such resonance in her music. Emma Louise talks of the unforgettable relationship she had whilst living in West End.
Before anything amazing ever happened with Emma’s music career, she busked for a year at the markets on Montague Road, accompanied by Henry the parrot who sat on her shoulder. “I was 18 years old, fresh from Cairns and new to West End. I knew nothing about Brisbane.” Emma says. Telling the story behind West End Kids, Emma shares her special memories of how it all began. “We met in the Valley at a gig we played together. I fell in love for the first time and it was magical. The whole first verse is dedicated to Highgate Hill.” Emma reminisces about their first date sitting on the bench at the top of the Hill. “Thinking about Highgate Hill is really difficult,” Emma says forlornly. The song goes on to tell of her return to West End and all the memories that flooded her again.
The West End Kids video clip shows couples chained together and Emma walking on stilts, somewhat like a puppeteer master of the couples. “The chained couples signify the memories of myself and the person I was in love with, and me trying to escape them, but for some reason I’m still holding onto them … because I like them.” One by one the memories escape regardless of the puppeteer who’s trying to keep in control,” she explains.
When returning to visit West End, Emma describes the 4101’s gentrification perfectly. “It’s sad seeing all these buildings go up, but it’s the way that humans work; artists move to places that are cheap and they create this vibe and community. They make it cool and then it draws people in, people with money, so artists needs to find the next affordable place.”
Upon her return, Emma knew she was going to see the person she was in love with again, as she wanted to sing West End Kids directly to him. She describes the experience. ’’It was intense and beautiful when we met again, but you know when something is so intense, there’s no middle ground, you can’t be friends.”
The raw, soul charging journey Emma takes you on in Supercry mirrors the album title.
It is Emma’s second album, which she produced with renowned Belgian producer Pascal Gabriel in his studio in the village of Sablet in the south of France. Supercry followed her 2013 debut album vs head vs heart and Emma’s debut EP Full Hearts and Empty Rooms showcased the international hit Jungle, launching onto the charts across several countries and earning itself an endorsement from Yves Saint Laurent for the Black Opium perfume advertising campaign. Emma has collaborated with other artists including Australian duo Flight Facilities, with whom she wrote and performed the popular song Two Bodies.
Emma Louise will begin her national tour this October. See her perform at The Triffid on October 22.
Words by Candice Groves | Images by Thom Kerr & Tori Hyland