On 13th June, “Virtue” will be released as the follow-up to “First Love” (Close Harbour, 2009), where petite singer Emmy The Great won the hearts of folk-pop fans with her storytelling songs. According to the label, the recording and composing process was very different from the previous album. This time around, Emmy started writing a series of stories when she started dating an atheist. But things took a surprising turn when the man abandoned her, to join a church. Finally, using symbols taken from fairytales and mythology, Emmy started to add references to modern elements, such as industrial constructions, nuclear mushroom clouds and the west London Trellick Tower. She did all that in order to create a new song genre, which she called “medieval digital”. Furthermore, she realised that in the great myths, women are only able to cross through the woods if they maintain their virtues, and she says she felt lost in the woods twice during the recording process. First, when she started dating her now ex-lover, and then when he left her – and that was when she hid in the English countryside and lost herself in books about saints, archetypes and folkloric stories.
The album was completed thanks to the help of her lifelong collaborator, Euan Hinshelwood. He was in charge of the guitars and some weird and twisted sound effects, while the London singer contributed the characters voices. They say there are echoes of Cocteau Twins and Suzanne Vega, and that the stories seem to be taken from the novels by Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter. In order to organise the whole and make the album sound more precise than precious, they called upon producer Gareth Jones, who has worked with Depeche Mode, Grizzly Bear and These New Puritans. According to Emmy, she want “Virtue” to be as ambitious as Janelle Monáe’s “The Archandroid” and Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea”.