Emma Gillespie, AKA Emma’s Imagination, first came to our attention through Sky One talent show ‘Must Be The Music’ and, from there, was propelled into the spotlight and released her debut album soon after. All in all, it was an awfully quick affair. Fast forward almost three years and Emma has only just released some new material, in the form of ‘Underway’. And time has certainly made all the difference.
With the opening notes of first track ‘Let You Go’, you would be easily forgiven for thinking that this is the same style as Stand Still. A few seconds later a minor note is heard and suddenly you realise this one is different. This one is darker. This one is more mature.
As we progress through the release, this maturity only becomes more obvious. From the sinister stomper that is ‘Pour It Out’ to the phaser-laden pickings of ‘Change’ and the delightfully chipper ‘Arms of Old’, this is a release that is developed and well-thought-out enough to not only dare to experiment with new stylings, but to do so in such a way so as to not alienate fans or make the release as a whole sound uneasy.
In many ways it feels like ‘Underway’ is the release that Emma Gillespie has always been aiming for, and rather understandably so. Having been propelled quickly into the mainstream through Must Be The Music, I get the impression that the radio-friendly, diabetes-daring bubblegum acousto-pop of ‘Stand Still’ was something that was pushed by her record label. This release sounds much more natural and organic, with each track having an air of elegance about it. This is definitely the savoury kick we needed after ‘Stand Still’.
This EP is everything that I could have hoped for from Emma’s Imagination, and is one that shows the tremendous strength of Gillespie to risk dividing her fan base so early in her career. And this risk pays off wonderfully.
The EP is available on Spotify now, or you can purchase it here.