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Emaline Delapaix – “Exorcism” Review

Australia's best new discovery in chamber folk
Emaline Delapaix
Emaline Delapaix

Emaline Delapaix is my new favourite discovery on Bandcamp. Her new EP sits firmly in the chamber pop folk. It’s a wonderfully witchy concoction of beats, harps, keyboards, guitars and strings. Topping it off is Emaline’s beautiful voice that is strong and fluid – able to hold a variety of notes and seamlessly flow between them.

Opener “Exorcism” has a tribal styled percussive edge to it. The strings and lapsteel guitar have an Eastern flow and Emaline waxes and wanes over the chords with aplomb. She reminds me of a similarly styled Wendy Rule. It has a primal twist to everything, but Delapaix isn’t going for a quiet witchy feel – she has a good bite to her lyrics and songs. “Greetings From the Snow Desert” shows off her vocal flair further. It’s a short track but the first two-thirds are almost entirely made up of various vocal tracks. This is over a beat of crunching snow under foot. The track separates into three distinct vocals before it fades into a hollow noise and the fact they don’t overcrowd eachother is testament to the product and writing abilities of the lady in charge.

“B.C. Song” is a guitar led track that feels like a ballad but has pace to it too. It’s simplistic to begin with as it works around its chords but soon wayward strings and backing vocals coo in to a quite emotional second half. Emaline’s voice is able to pitch perfectly exactly where to hammer home the emotion as she wistfully recounts “the shit that’s dragging me down falls away”. It’s warm and affirming in its unusual way. “Perhaps Saskatoon” swaps out guitar for piano as the true ballad closes the album. It’s a beautiful track with gentle xylophone and a slight reverb to the piano which makes it sound a bit vintage and in a wooden room. Its funny because even with the bonus “Exorcism (Bare Version)” added, you can get an Australian vibe to everything that is being presented to you. The bare version is a more organic version of the opener and equally as entrancing.

Emaline Delapaix straddles the border between chamber folk and traditional singer/songwriter perfectly. Her lyrics evoke all kinds of crafts and are quite heavy on sensory perceptions. The instrumentation is fresh on every track – nothing repeats itself at all. This all makes me extremely excited for anything else in store from this Australian songstress.

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