“Mahal Kita” by Emmy the Great | So, I am back in Hong Kong today, this time for the day job. Flying Cathay Pacific again like last time. It’s a bit of a nice tie-in to have their inflight entertainment system have this Emmy the Great song on, the same month she wrote this for their magazine. Shalla pointed this out to me a couple of weeks back; it’s a song I was supposed to write about the first time it came out. (Or maybe I tweeted about it?) Yes, that’s Filipino in the title; she wrote this song to tie in with an essay she did last year about domestic workers in Hong Kong, particularly the Filipinos there. I recall the Sunday we did spend in the city; the one day these workers have off, they’re all over the place, in parks and sidewalks and “sitting areas”, mats laid down, essentially having a picnic. I know Filipinos congregate in Central on this day, but we weren’t due to cross the harbor until Tuesday. We got off Diamond Hill MTR and I was hearing a lot of Filipino, and not just from us. Fascinating, yet sad at the same time. That said, even shorn of context there is a sadness to the imagery evoked in the lyrics… and that one wisp of hopefulness in the title. Or maybe it’s because I am Filipino. [NB]
Welcome to the first installment of Anglophile in New York, an occasional (definitely not regular) series of essays on music and life from our New York correspondent, Jeany Lee. I’ve known Jeany for many years now, although we have yet to meet – but we almost did in Seoul. But I digress. She’s lived a life steeped in music, from her teenage days growing up in Los Angeles, to her time working in New York and London. I invited her to join the blog because I think you’ll enjoy reading things from a different perspective. But enough nattering from me.
“Swimming Pool” by Emmy the Great | Now, the latest from Emmy the Great, an artist that I like but somehow keep on forgetting about – maybe it’s her lower profile, so to speak. There’s always been something enigmatic about her songs, and even if she takes a more cinematic, electronic direction in “Swimming Pool” – yes, let’s just say this, a bit more Lana Del Rey-ish – she still manages to draw you in instead of shutting you out. (Like, well, Lana.) She’s warm but also thoughtful, not hiding the conflict in her head but not managing to be exaggerated with it either. (Although the bits by Wild Beasts’ Tom Fleming does ratchet the creep level up a bit, and so does the music video.) Emmy’s getting a new EP out this January, simple called S, and she’s touring the UK to mark it. [NB]
“24” by Emmy the Great | Today I turn 24. That means I should post a song about birthdays. But then, at the last minute, I went a different route and went for another folk singer I’ve loved: Emmy the Great, the Londonite via Hong Kong otherwise known as Emma-Lee Moss. (Or, Tim Wheeler’s girlfriend. Remind me to post this next Christmas.) I don’t actually have her CDs – I almost bought a copy of her second album, though – but I love her wistful lyrics and that silky voice. So sure, this song isn’t really a happy one, considering I turn 24 and today ought to be a celebration (that will kill my wallet) but… well, my wallet dying is a sad affair, after the Dia Frampton gig and all these dinners. But it’s my birthday. Today I turn 24. Also, sorry about the monkey.