We first became aware of (and in love with) Emily & The Woods via our good friends over at For Folk’s Sake late last year, so it was a total no-brainer when Emily Wood and her family band popped up on our judging sheet for this year’s Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition. We had no hesitation in recommending her as our top pick, and the organisers were sufficiently impressed to advance the band into the final ten contestants.
They ultimately lost out to Treetop Flyers in the live show, performing in front of Michael Eavis himself (see photos here), but we’re still very much in their corner. We’ll be cheering them on this Saturday, in fact, when they take to the stage at The Horatia in London in support of the wonderful Madam, who is launching her second album Gone Before Morning (out May 9). You should come along too; it’s totally free, and the lovely Ruth Barnes from The Other Woman radio is bound to spin some excellent lady-tunes between sets.
Listen to/buy Emily & The Woods’ debut EP over on Bandcamp.
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What’s the worst job you’ve ever worked and what was so bad about it?
I worked in a restaurant for three days and on the last day I cried pretty much from start to finish; tears all over the food! It was just so stressful and everyone was so mean!
What would you be if you weren’t a musician?
I’d be wanting to be one!
Are you lucky or unlucky in love?
What do you think, eh…? I probably wouldn’t be writing all these weepy songs if I was the luckiest of ladies, now would I? Hahaha…
What did you listen to when you were growing up?
A real mixture of music. I had an R&B phase when I was young, although we used to listen to James Taylor, Tracy Chapman and Simon & Garfunkel in the car, as well as jazz. My early live music experiences were watching my dad’s band play. I have always loved watching musicians play; and that is a love that hasn’t changed a bit!
Do you have an instrument you’d still like to learn? What’s stopping you?
Oh yes – many! I would love to learn the piano and I think it would help me with my guitar playing and singing. Also, it’s a great place to start writing a song. I don’t really know what is stopping me, which means I should probably go and start learning now…
Who would be your dream collaboration?
The London Philharmonic Orchestra. Just listen to Joni Mitchell’s Travelogue for a sense of songwriter-meets-orchestra. Now that is the dream!
What are your biggest obstacles as a musician?
Probably the fear that it’s a totally unsustainable career choice. Music is changing rather a lot and I’m not quite sure where the money is for the artists. It’s really scary wanting to do something without being sure you can make any kind of living from doing it!
Have you ever had any bizarre comparisons to other musicians? How do you feel about that?
Yes! A guy came up to me after a gig and said, “I like the stuff. It’s kind of like Katy Perry and…”. He then went on to name some other artists but I can’t remember them – I was so struck by the Katy Perry comparison. I just really don’t think we’re particularly similar!
If you could star in any TV show, past or current, which would it be and what kind of character would you play?
I’d quite like to have had a cameo role in ‘Friends’, perhaps one of the people who lives with Joey and Chandler for a while. That would have been amazing!
Are you a dog or a cat person?
Both! But a dog person really… I love my dog so much. He’s a golden Labrador and is so sweet!
What’s the best thing you’ve ever seen on YouTube?
Which women have most inspired you?
Musically, Joni Mitchell is inspirational. Her attitude to feminity raises interesting questions and stories which she details beautifully in her songs, and her talent as a songwriter is unrivalled.
What makes you angry?
People who are impolite. I hate it when people are rude in restaurants, shops and bars. I used to work at a bar and get so cross when people didn’t say “Please” or “Thank you.”
What’s the biggest problem facing the world today? Do you have any thoughts on how to fix it?
Most definitely the fact that worldwide climate is changing. I think we can cope with it, but only with clever strategy.
What gives music its worth?
Music plays a part in human history; songs often end up summarising a time in someone’s life, or affecting them deeply. As well as this, the fact that people still turn to new music and also engage with music from decades ago reveals the generation spanning nature of its appeal.
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
Ha, a tricky one…especially as I don’t think sliced bread is that great. I prefer to slice my own. Okay, let’s say the printing press. Now, how important has that invention been!?
What’s in your pockets right now?
Nothing. I’m in my brand new dressing gown! That seems to be the way things go at the moment. Ah, this is a Christmas present that has brought me a lot of joy! It’s very snuggly!
If you chanced upon Aladdin’s lamp, what three things would you wish for?
One: Someone to pay for my Oyster card for the rest of my life! Two: Alternative, sustainable fuel methods that everyone started using and didn’t harm the ecosystem. Three: Everyone in the world who is midway through an argument, even if it spans years, to stop what they’re doing, realise they’re never going to change the other person’s mind, give up, and love each other anyway.
Would you rather see a ghost or simply have a piece of toast and watch the evening news?
Hm… another tricky one! I really do love toast so perhaps toasted ‘Cholla’ bread with honey. Amazing!
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‘I Can’t’ [live]
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