Rooted in Americana and spouting a folk pop sensibility, Emma Hill’s Clumsy Seduction is rife with discovery. From unusual tempo changes to unexpected torch songs, from flirting with found sounds to cracking up on hidden tracks, there are surprises around each turn. But there is one constant which links the songs on this album, and that is Emma Hill’s big voice. Rich, with a hint of smokiness and just a suggestion of twang, it’s a substantial voice that is almost startling in its expanse.

That’s particularly surprising when you consider that Emma Hill is barely into her twenties. A seasoned musician from Alaska, now residing in Portland, she projects an endearing fearlessness. She is no stranger to the road, is Ms Hill, with a solo Greyhound tour under her belt and, more recently, having completely a blistering cross-country tour via a JetBlue All You Can Jet pass.

There is a playfulness to Emma Hill’s music. Her seduction techniques may be clumsy, but she is good natured about the rejection; she may find solace in the bottom of the bottle, but she revels in drinking the boys under the table.

In a curious reversal of the perceived wisdom of track mixing, I find myself returning more often to the songs in the bottom half of the album. This is where you find the real gems, the tracks that infiltrate your consciousness, the songs that truly showcase the diversity of Emma Hill’s voice. Songs like I am the Rock, You are the Wind and Highway 101 hearken back to the very roots of Americana, fitting like a tattered cardigan against the winds of change, while the stunning torch song, Doctor, suggests a future fit for Emma Hill amongst the great American ladies of song.

Clumsy Seduction is a richly diverse album, and Emma Hill is a versatile musician who is making strides. Watch for her.

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Tags: Emma, Hill, album, review

Comment by Emma Hill on October 22, 2010 at 12:19pm
Thanks so much for your kind words and support!
Comment by Barbara Bruederlin on October 22, 2010 at 12:52pm
Clumsy Seduction is a very fine album, Emma - a great introduction to your music. I look forward to more! And if you find yourself touring Canada, please keep Calgary in mind. If you are ever up for a house concert here, please let me know.
Comment by Kyla Fairchild on October 22, 2010 at 6:56pm
I recently discovered the album myself and have really enjoyed it! I was hoping people would blog about the record here on the ND site so thanks for doing so.
Comment by Barbara Bruederlin on October 22, 2010 at 10:31pm
My pleasure, Kyla. The album was such a pleasant discovery for me, and Emma is certainly an upcoming artist to watch.


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.