Emily Shreve, Coming Of Age

| November 1, 2014

Emily Shreve

by Charlie Sullivan

The talented singer-songwriter/performance artist Emily Shreve has been entertaining audiences in the Denver area for a number years, first in a three part harmony band. “We performed really bad pop covers,” says Shreve, “We wrote a few songs but it wasn’t what I really wanted to be doing.”

She moved on to a cover band, My Only Friends.

“The band performed obscure covers,” says Shreve. “Good music that wasn’t getting a lot of attention.”

Shreve tried the college thing for a while but all she really wants to do is to play her music. Now we find a young lady who is coming into her own musically. Shreve started taking piano lessons at eight and, shortly after, vocal and guitar lessons. The dedication is now starting to pay dividends.

“Tori Amos’ music was a big influence when I was younger,” says Shreve. “I really liked her style, how she performed, sang, all of it.”

Shreve wanted to be taken a little more seriously as a performer and has kicked it up a notch. She’s currently performing as a solo act. The lady has a unique vocal quality that sets her apart from her contemporaries. The recently released EP, Spirals/Dreams, gives the listener a good idea of what Shreve is capable of. The songs are dream-like, melodic, and take the listener outside of themselves, if only for a short while.

The new Differential Productions sampler showcases Shreve performing Radiohead’s “Weird Fishes”, and wow, what a nice twist she puts on the song. An idiosyncratic vocal performance, backing vocals, and additional instrumentation fill her sound out nicely. It took me a moment to figure out I was listening to a cover.

Now, Shreve says she wants to branch out and put a band together.

“I want the challenge of having a band to work with, bounce ideas off of,” states Shreve. “An avenue to feature other musicians in the band, to harmonize with other vocalists.”

Shreve has been writing her own music by basically free playing and adding the lyrical content from poems she’s written over the years. She likes to paint pictures with her music and leave it to the listener to find some meaning in a song. Her music can be quite profound, fierce, but also very straightforward and warm.

“Everyone perceives a song differently, they get something different out of the content,” says Shreve. “It all depends on what’s going on at a given moment in your life.”

Shreve says a lot of her songs are based on what’s going on in her life, issues that encompassed the moment. She wants to take her music to a deeper level, send a real message to the listener, pull them in and give them something to ponder.

“I’m going to be working on a new album with Michael Zucker,” says Shreve. “I want to give the music a new feel.”

“I like what Michael’s done with Eat The Sun and the other bands he’s working with,” adds Shreve.

Shreve has a musical vision and is reaching out in all the right directions. She’s performed at The Laughing Goat , (Boulder) and Bannock Street Garage (Denver) recently and is looking for a wider audience. Check out her web page for upcoming shows.

For me music is a vehicle to bring our pain to the surface, getting it back to that humble and tender spot where, with luck, it can lose its anger and become compassion again.”- Paula Cole

Online: emilyshreve.com




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