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Last Night From Glasgow

Archive : Emme Woods

Music: Bitterness and wine: The heart-grabbing blues of Emme Woods

Morgan Woods used to worry about how she expressed herself during performances, but she has now come into her own as Emme Woods

Morgan Woods used to worry about how she expressed herself during performances, but she has now come into her own as Emme Woods


Emme Woods in The National January 2017


IF you’ve never heard of Emme Woods, do yourself a favour and look up the video for ‘I Don’t Drink To Forget’, her debut single. Out last July, it was only the second release on Last Night From Glasgow, the crowd-funded label who’ve also birthed releases from TeenCanteen, BooHooHoo and Be Charlotte aka surefire star Charlotte Brimner. Feverish and heady, it’s a track that seethes in the shadows only to collar you and deliver two lungfuls of home truths. “The only thing left now/is bitterness and wine,” she sings, as her guitar clangs into the distance. Like the sultry, Spain-shot video directed by James Vincent Gillespie and photographer Brian Sweeney, ‘I Don’t Drink To Forget’ recalls the sleepwalking blues of Mazzy Star. And though there’s a definite fragility there – the song threatens to come loose from its fraying moorings without notice – rather than Hope Sandoval’s pretty resignation, Woods’ songs have an intensity that’s often fearsome. Because hers are of the truly difficult relationship stuff, the viscera-twisting entanglements, disappointments and frustrations that have you going home with a clinking blue plastic bag; the kind the Afghan Whigs and PJ Harvey built careers on. Though Woods’ youth may surprise some – she’ll turn just 22 in April – maybe it shouldn’t. Those are the years when big life events can be felt more intensely, often leaving a branding mark on your soul. The six tracks that she’s currently working on with producer Brian Hurren, Runrig’s keyboard player, for forthcoming mini album It’s My Party, due for release on May 12, include ‘Lullaby For a Lost Soul’. It’s a two-minute kiss-off as tart as a lemon drop and features a lyric that’ll give your ticker a wee jolt. “My songs are all true but I may exaggerate sometimes,” she says. “It still feels like real life though because that is what’s going on in my head. It depends on the song but sometimes they will change from day to day, with my mood and how my feelings are changing on things. So it can be a case of: ‘On the Tuesday, it was about this. On the Friday, it was about this.’ But yes, they’re all based on real life. It’s not that my life is miserable, but there certainly can be miserable points through a day when you think of certain things.”