Disorder Magazine:~ Emily & the Faves ~

The intimate room at the ICA where Emily Lansley is playing is smoky and surreal, the atmosphere matching her wistful aura perfectly. The singer from the band Emily and Faves is performing a one-off solo appearance and as she stands with her white electric guitar strapped on, the dense vapour in the air from the smoke machine swirls around her like fallen clouds.

Black canvases on the wall above have images depicting the naked human body, contorted into otherworldly shapes; a twee audience is sat on dark-wood chairs, discreetly sipping their drinks; and the floor space is dotted with random displays such as an alien baby sculpture encased in glass and a row of multi-coloured sewing machines.

Emily’s tunes are as equally whimsical and eccentric as her surroundings, consisting of a psychedelic sound like Jefferson Airplane and Krautrock pioneers Can, at the same time her music is heavily injected with contemplative folk rock, her quaintly trippy hooks are like that of Yo La Tengo, and youthful vocals similar to the Be Good Tanyas, plus her Liverpudlian accent infuses her voice with a singular edge.

She is the front woman and songwriter of the band Emily and the Faves, but also of an all-girl group called Stealing Sheep and also a creator of unique and curious artwork. Her melodies erratic and unpredictable rather than structured, and so are her illustrations that are unearthly and placed in a fictional enchanted and foreboding world that explores Emily’s inner life.

Each illustration is like a series to an ongoing fable, the main character called Orly, who overcomes perils in the strange world with the help of magical guidance, is chronicled in Emily’s blog, Kaleidoscope Eclipse.

Meeting the lithe and longhaired Emily at the venue earlier, she explains, “All my work is based upon the world I have created called The Forest, everything that occurs in The Forest is unexpected; letters fall like rain every day, this is because they have been lost in the post, thrown away, burned, ripped to shreds or not even written, sometimes just a thought in someone’s head. They all end up in the forgotten forest, the trees are filled with hundreds of different creatures with all kinds of different powers and qualities.”

As Emily ponders on this in comparison to her music she adds, “Although the songs on my debut album (currently being mastering for release in June), are not directly linked to the illustrations, I think that sometimes I like to create a song which has the feeling of a person or place within The Forest they sometimes both coincide because each has different characters and each realm explores something new.”

The Birds and Tree

The Horse

The Forest Characters:

Demon Sun, it roams around the sky of the forest, a deceptive power that lures characters away from safety & hypnotises, then changes form to match their terror and shifting them into new and horrifying realms.


She has to be very careful as the Demon Sun takes on many forms; Orly goes to the Diamond Rock for guidance that warns her if the sun approaches.

Words: Jameela Oberman

Pics: Jo and Emily Lansley, Peter Clark

Disorder Magazine: http://disordermagazine.com/emily-faves/music/






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