By: Staff –
To celebrate the release of Emét’s debut album, Carlin’s Farm, the emerging Irish-born, Calgary-based indie-folk musician curated an exclusive Spotify playlist featuring tracks that inspired the making of the album! Stream it below. Listen and buy Carlin’s Farm here.
Since moving to Calgary in July of 2021 Irish Indie-folk artist Emét (he/they – pronounced Em-it) has been building buzz with recent performances at BIG Winter Classic and the Songwriters Stage at the 11th Annual Country Music Awards.
Carlin’s Farm is a collection of 11 songs written during the time that Emét was living between London, UK, and Limavady, Northern Ireland. “Overall, the album explores themes of mortality and morality, most of which have been pulled from my personal experiences alongside concepts previously explored through my background as a creative writing graduate;” says Emét.
The title track is complemented with an official video – filmed in Ireland and created by Sunset Media NI. The lyrics from the song are based on a conversation Emét had with their Ma (Marie) a decade ago about getting older and becoming more comfortable as a person. Taking inspiration from the traditional Irish music Emét was raised with, “Carlin’s Farm” explores the idea of finding comfort in the limitations of life and death – a topic discussed to varying degrees throughout the album. Watch the brand new video here.
On May 1st, Emét will celebrate the album release in Calgary, Alberta at Tea House with special guest Liz. Tickets are available here. More info & brand new merchandise can be found at www.itsemetofficial.com.
Ezra Furman – “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend”
Ezra Furman is such a powerful songwriter, and her ability to share her experience of trans longing with emotion and wit is nothing short of stunning. I tried to emulate that tongue-in-cheek humour in my track “Sticky Floor Serenade”, but Ezra’s description of her body as “less than ideal” takes the biscuit.
From the doowop guitar line to Ezra’s croon, “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” achieved exactly what it set out to do – become “an ‘Earth Angel’ for the queers”.
Japanese Breakfast – “Boyish”
A big influence to my track “Scarecrow (I Think I’ll Miss You Most Of All)” for its nostalgic and persistent chord progression, Japanese Breakfast’s “Boyish” follows beautifully from the keen laments of Ezra Furman. Michelle Zauner’s performance is heartbreaking, controlled and honest enough to leave a house party in tears by the first chorus. I’m still wrecked by the line “if you don’t like how I look then leave”, but there’s so much beauty that I keep coming back for another round.
Stormzy – “Vossi Bop”
This might seem like a departure from Ezra and Michelle but trust me, it’s not as jarring as it looks on paper. Stormzy knows how to deliver an insult like no one else (check out “Disappointed” and sequel “Still Disappointed” for reference), taking aim at Boris Johnson and his cavalcade of conservative c-words with the throwaway line “fuck the government and fuck Boris”. It’s one of those lines I wish I had written, but it would never sound as cool.
IDLES – “Never Fight A Man With A Perm”
Speaking of songs that pack a punch, IDLES could soundtrack a riot, standing on the front line with guitars and star-spangled leggings. There’s no need for rousing lyrics against their wall of guitars, but they stand their own with lines like “you are a TopShop tyrant, even his haircut’s violent”. It’s not all super serious either – they address the issue of voyeurism toward the working class in a lot of their discography, and they’re not afraid to send that message with a blend of love and venom which sends listeners reeling.
Phoebe Bridgers – “Moon Song”
Right now this one I can acknowledge is a wee bit of a left-turn. Phoebe’s harmonies are stunning, but the production also gives her lyrics enough space to breathe and hold their weight. In the wrong hands a song like this could’ve been bigger, faster and packed with bells and whistles, but “Moon Song’s” airiness is second to none.
Also, can we discuss the line “we hate Tears in Heaven, but it’s sad that his baby died”? This is the thing about Phoebe Bridgers – she writes with so much specificity that she feels like a friend having a conversation after a drink or two.
Joshua Burnside – “Noa Mercier”
When Joshua Burnside dropped Into The Depths Of Hell, it completely took over my Spotify for the best of a year. Josh can really dominate a track with these little harmonies which loom in the background and come to life at just the right time. Again, there’s a load of space given where appropriate, but the song ends in this glorious swell of voices and commotion. “You said you saw me swimming in the black ocean, Noa, Noa, what did you mean?“
After a bit of digging, it turns out Noa Mercier is about a trapeze artist who was the love interest of a giant/circus artist from Killowen (Ireland) called Patrick Murphy.
Fionn Regan – “67 Blackout”
Following on from Noa Mercier, I have absolutely no clue what this song is about. I’ve Googled this song countless times in the hopes that someone will elaborate, but to no avail so far. From what I gather, it’s this blend of mid-week parties and crime fiction.
I’m a real sucker for rhyming couplets (see “Hold Me Down”) and this song is basically just one giant rhyming couplet, so of course it lives in my head rent free. Better, Fionn’s entire The Bunkhouse Vol 1: Anchor Black Tattoo album is a showcase in producing a stripped-back album, from “The Gouldings” to “Mizen To Malin”. Each song has so much body, but feels more like a live performance when paired with the likes of “Moon Song”. Beautiful stuff… even if I don’t know what it’s about.
Mitski – “I Bet On Losing Dogs”
We’re all playing checkers, and Mitski’s been playing five-dimensional chess since 2012. “I Bet On Losing Dogs” takes all these strange twists and turns in a very Mitski way – from the eerie synth to the defeat in her voice. On the other hand, eventually it’s hard to tell whether Mitski actually wants the dogs to fail after all, signposted by the line “I wanna feel it”. It really fucks me up and adds a brilliant dimenson to the song.
Hozier – “NFWMB”
Don’t let the poetry fool you – Hozier is a sexy bard who knows exactly what he’s doing. The acoustic guitar and looming harmonies add gravity to the chorus, and all the badassery he exudes as he repeats “nothing fucks with my baby”.
I’m also a big fan of his Wicklow lilt in this particular song – an element which doesn’t often appear in Hozier’s music. It takes skill to make a soft song seem so menacing.
Nina Simone – “Ne Me Quitte Pas”
To quote Girls Aloud, “I don’t speak French”, but Nina sings with so much heart that it doesn’t really matter if you can understand the lyrics. I first heard this particular song as a live cover by Placebo’s shrill frontman Brian Molko, but Nina goes right for the jugular with her performance. If you’re keen to know the English translation, my favourite line is “Let me become the shadow of your shadow, the shadow of your hand, the shadow of your dog”.
And that’s it, that’s the playlist. Let me know what you think and check out Carlin’s Farm while you’re at it.