We’re big fans of Emma Moore at Belles and Gals, so much so that she is actually the most featured artist on the site since we began back in January. Much to our great delight, Emma announced three or four months ago that she would be releasing an album and the much anticipated ‘Pilot’ is finally here, the release of the album taking place on Friday 17th June, with the launch party on Wednesday 15th June (full details here).
If you’ve followed our Emma Moore features, you’ll know how highly we rate Emma’s vocals, and these really come to the fore in the opening track, ‘Before I Fall Asleep’. This is an atmospheric and slightly bluesy track and makes for a brilliant opening to the album. This is followed by the first release, the up tempo ‘I Don’t Know’, which we featured on Belles and Gals a couple of weeks ago. This song is a real grower, exactly the type of song where you’ll hit the repeat button when listening to it in the car (I know this, because I did!).
‘Alone’ is simply fantastic. The song that has a timeless quality, as you wouldn’t be surprised to hear this on a classic country album in any decade. Obviously, you’ll realise from the title that the song hasn’t the happiest of subjects, but it has a real uplifting quality and this is certainly a highlight. ‘Daytime Black’ sees the tempo drop, a heartbreak number which once again really highlights the tremendous vocals of Emma, the emotion of the song really coming through in her voice.
The album’s title track ‘Pilot’ comes next, a song about the potential of a new relationship and the wondering of how it will all turn out. This is a really nice, gentle song that you’ll listen to intently throughout. The next song ‘I’ll Say Yes’ starts with the lyrics “I don’t need roses, don’t scatter petals on the ground, I don’t want fireworks…”, a song about how real love is much more important than the grand gestures that a partner might make. In some ways ‘I’ll Say Yes’ is a perfect continuation of ‘Pilot’, the two songs almost fitting together chronologically, making for the perfect middle to the album.
‘Tired’ is next up, an up tempo song about a relationship which is breaking down. This is obviously in contrast to the previous two songs, this perhaps the grittiest number on the album, talking of arguments, screaming, shouting and tears.
When I heard Emma was releasing an album I had a real hope that the next track, ‘Paper Roses’ would be on it. This is the first song that I ever heard from Emma and it made me sit up immediately. Receiving the album, the first thing I did was to actually look down the track list and I let out a whoop of delight when I saw it there (well I didn’t actually ‘whoop’, people don’t really ‘whoop’, but I did give a little clench of my fist). This is a simply wonderful song about the building of a relationship and the eventual family that follows. We obviously featured this on Belles and Gals originally, but this version is even better. Unlike some country songs, this one has a happy ending too. Brilliant.
‘Bottom of the Bottle’ is the darkest song on the album, with a real haunting quality that just drags you in. In some ways you can imagine this song being performed in a theatre, with a unlit stage and a single spotlight on the singer. This is very different song from the rest of the album but once again has that rare timeless quality. The album ends with “Why Don’t We Lie’, a song about trying to keep love alive when it’s not really there. This builds slowly, while the up tempo vocal arrangement against the slower beat at times in the song works brilliantly. The lyrics ‘I know how this ends’ brings the album to a perfect conclusion.
For a debut album, ‘Pilot’ is simply brilliant. Yes, we’ve already stated that Emma Moore had perhaps the best voice in UK country music, and here she has not only underlined that fact, but also put the text in bold too. However to say that Emma Moore is a UK country star might be a little misleading. She is a country star full stop.