Review: "Looking For a Real Thing" - Emily Faye
“Sensitivity, honesty and realism in a heartfelt and pensive three and a half minutes…”
Emily Faye, the singer songwriter from Northamptonshire, brings a refreshing, and enlightening new song to the world of music this November. Her brand new single, Looking For A Real Thing, is pleasing to the ear, and transfixing in effect.
In a current market, where the over saturation of modern day country pop formula’s, and heartbreak hook lines are so prevalent, the writing of Emily Faye, Jake Morrell, and Producer Sue McMillan cuts through the mix with this combination of sensitivity, honesty and realism in a heartfelt and pensive three and half minutes, that persuades the listener stop and think about the ideals of life and their priorities in a modern day and age.
Looking For A Real Thing, opens with simplicity, where Slide Guitar, and Acoustic Guitar couple to set the scene for the listener, while Emily’s sensitive yet purposeful vocal is introduced over the top. The opening lines talk about the remnants of days gone by in the subjects life, where love and its untimely end has left them questioning untied strings and the path the future holds. Its hard not to notice the way Emily has a knack for painting a picture, and the ability her visceral lyrics have to leave you still picturing the scene long after the music fades. Whilst listening, the lyrics teach the listener to not fall for the same mistakes and doubts of the subject, and with the swell of cymbals and introduction of low end bass and timpani, the listener is
grounded in the moment right in time for the song to build.
We reach the chorus with a sobering question from the main vocal. “What happened to genuine?” The question that we should all be asking ourselves these days. Where truth and meaning is distorted, or commercialised. This simple question and the ones that follow, bring the listener straight to the truth of the song. What are we all really searching for in our own happiness? Is it the undenied knowledge that we are one up from each other, or is it the ability to look back and know we have all prospered together, after even the hardest of times.
A huge shootout to Sue McMillan on the arrangement of the song. It gives the listener space to breathe and to contemplate the lyrics, and enough freedom for Emily’s voice to cut through with the message. As we reach the climactic end of the chorus, the music lets up, to give the silence that fills the space underneath the song title, “Looking For A Real Thing”.
We have a spacious, and subtly arranged interlude, where Jake Morrell’s clever, pleasing and as always, emotionally stirring acoustic work continues to benefit the song arrangement, while the tasteful and smooth slide guitar parts of Johnny Postlethwaite decorates the moment.
The second verse shines a light on the other subject in the story. In this case, the other party of a romance which has long been over. We see the mistakes of their actions are truly realised and brought to the fore with Emily’s lyrical delivery and as the verse progresses, the picture builds.
Emily’s voice opens up with emotion as the 2nd Chorus begins. In this moment it is revealed just how beautiful her voice is, as even in the sparsest of arrangements, the listener feels the power and emotion she has to give.
Descending backing vocal lines add texture to the 2nd chorus, as the low end of the instrumentation holds steady. The song is pushed along with the addition of an underlying kick drum and the atmosphere is heightened with pad lines and echoing tambourine hits. And, my personal favourite moment, which definitely deserves a mention, a reverse cymbal effect before the hook line is once again introduced. We find ourselves holding our breathe, just as one does right before plunging into cold water. There is a moment where Emily’s voice and the acoustic guitar, hold us in limbo, right before we jump, and are suddenly immersed in feeling as the music drops back in.
The etherial vocal work keeps the listener transfixed as the song culminates, and along with a free flowing slide guitar solo, and a stylistically on point bass and drum arrangement from George Price and Lewis Jenkins, we sit back and enjoy the ride. Emily brings it home with the lyric, “Happiness doesn't come from material things”, and with that, we are left in silence as we contemplate the emotions this song has stirred up.
Ladies and gentlemen, songwriting, performing and arranging at its finest. I give a huge thumbs up to Emily for this song, the woman at the mixing desk, Sue MacMillan, and all parties involved in the writing and playing.
I was lucky enough to experience Emily performing this song at her latest show, at The Portsmouth Guildhall in late October, and I was not surprised one bit, when a large audience fell silent, and a pin drop could have been heard while her and her guitarist Danny unveiled this beautiful number late in her set. I have always found that the best and most honestly written songs, will always standout, regardless of the medium you hear them in. This one, is without a doubt, one of those songs.
Having followed Emily’s writing for many a year now, it is clear that with each and every release, the continuation of her profound effect on the country and folk music scene, is unstoppable and consistently hard hitting. An incredible artist, with a growing wealth of honest and carefully written songs, a love for building others on the same path as her, and a talent for creating smiles and warming hearts with every single live performance. This brand new single is no different, and I could not recommend it enough for your Autumn playlist. The single itself is set for release on the 8th of November!
If you are feeling like you need a burst of summer in your Autumn into Winter Months, well, the trail begins here with Emily and her music, and even better yet, check out one of her multiple live shows she is playing this November and December, RIGHT HERE.
Looking For A Real Thing is available to pre-save now! RIGHT HERE!
I hope you enjoyed this review, and many thanks for reading!