An interchanging five piece led by the ethereal long haired songstress Emily Lansley, EMILY & THE FAVES evoke the dulcet euphonies of a sixties Spectorite group handling their own instruments.
A dreamlike illustrator by day, Emily and her faves take the latter part of their name from a Bossanova album track. “I used to really like the Pixies when I was younger and basically they’ve got a song where they sing ‘she’s my fave.’ I’d done an illustration with the lyric written in and I showed it to Andy who plays the drums and he just said ‘why don’t we be called Emily & The Faves?’ And it’s like favourites, my favourite people!”
Their debut self-titled album is set for released on 20th June; the record itself was produced by bassist Andy Frizell with Emily helping in the wings. “He knows all that sorta thing, I’d just be the one sitting there going ‘ooh can we make this bit a bit louder?’” She sweetly laughs over a frosty pint in Bold Street’s mahogany panelled Leaf Cafe, however it’s solely Emily’s tinkering penmanship behind the songs. “I work on my own really. What I do is I’ll sit on my own and work on guitar parts and record what I’ve done on a 4-track and layer things. Then I try to find melodies and subject matter even if it’s just giving yourself a title. I just find words and sounds that go well with the music. I arrange it on my own but then when we get to the practice room we can work it out together.”
When a mind succumbs to writer’s block Emily has the faculty to lift mystical inspiration from her vivid and strikingly beautiful surrealist illustrations published on her blog, kaleidoscopeclipse.blogspot.com, noting that her music and art, “help each other because, say you haven’t got an idea for a song, you can take characters or elements from the story and illustrations and work with them. But it’s not literal – the music isn’t literally about them. This album that I’m releasing in June isn’t directly inspired by the drawings but the next album which we’ll start recording in July will be more related to them.” With a second record underway so soon it’s clear that our songstress has an abundance of burning creativity at her willowy fingertips.
Noting that the versatile quintet’s sonorous style has “often been described as sixties psychedelic pop,” she notes her palpable influences as “Captain Beefheart, Love, Jefferson Airplane and The Beatles” and confides she’s a “massive Krautrock fan” counting “Can and Amon Duul” as key purveyors of inspiration along with “all that Wendy and Bonnie folksy stuff.”
The album itself incorporates swooning melodies and slight psychotropic moments; the intro on Golden Hair and the sighing backing vocals exemplifying this with the hand claps on the chorus granting a true love-in feel. The jokingly acerbic titled So Long Sucker opens with delicate fingerpicking until the rhythm section develops and the haunting melodies ensue with astute lyrics. In Sometimes the honeysuckle lissomeness of Emily’s voice and brightness of the music belie the longing lyrics all in under two and a half minutes of pop bliss. It would be easy to draw comparisons with the finesse of Fleetwood Mac, but there is something very Stevie Nicks about her presence and very Peter Green about her playing that does not go amiss.
Ahead of the record’s release Emily & The Faves will be playing a launch party at Static Gallery on the 17th of June with THE WILD EYES, IT’S MURDER BEAMS and former Bido Lito! cover stars STEALING SHEEP. If you feel like you recognise the lithesome Emily then that will be because she’s one third of the latter band. “At first I was worried about finding it difficult to separate the two bands and I was thinking how am I gonna write guitar for both? But actually I write completely differently for Stealing Sheep than I do for my own stuff. When I write songs I feel like I’ve got to fill a lot of space up but with Stealing Sheep I can do less. It’s difficult balancing them with the illustrations as well ‘cos I’ve gotta work and try to get some money but I wanna put all my time into the music.”
With recording in July, appearances at Fire on the Mountain and Rebellion Festival and a UK tour in September finding equilibrium between each aspect of her career isn’t going to be any easier. But as for enchanting the masses with fairytale fusions, well, it could only come naturally.