Singer, songwriter, classical musician, author, artist and poet. Is there anything that Emilie Autumn can’t do? Taking inspiration from Victorian literature, classical music and all things gothic, she’s one of the most unique and enchanting musicians of recent years. Her six albums are each a different representation of her sound, and her ability to manipulate beautifully composed music, dark lyrics and sheer theatricality in order to tell a story; the result of which you simply can’t stop listening to. You should be listening to Emilie Autumn to escape to a world which is simultaneously totally magical and entirely real.
Her earlier work, such as 2003’s Enchant, is an almost Shakespearean entrance to a more extraordinary world. Her work on the violin evokes images of witchcraft and faeries, mixed with more modern drum beats, synth and simply gorgeous lyrics. There are few artists who have so effectively combined the majesty of baroque with elements of alternative music with the result of music which is as beautiful as it is altogether unique.
As her musical style progressed, her albums became darker and ever more conceptual. 2010’s Opheliac, inspired by the Shakespearean character, is a stark exploration of women and mental illness and the romanticised archetype of the Ophelia character. Tracks like ‘Opheliac’, ‘Thank God I’m Pretty’ and ‘I Want My Innocence Back’ are characterised by their brutally honest lyrics based on Autumn’s own experiences. Musically, it picks up on and develops the electronica used in early works and takes elements from the captivating dark cabaret genre. Her most recent studio album, Fight Like a Girl (2012) is her most ambitious yet, a concept album based on her novel, ‘The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls’. It builds on the themes of Opheliac, with the added element of gothic horror and musical theatricality from the novel. In short, it’s unlike anything I have ever heard.
Speaking of her novel, her music is not her only creative pursuit. Autumn has published poetry, instrumental and spoken word albums, and is currently in the process of developing a musical version of ‘The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls’ for the stage. Her creative back catalogue is extensive, and listeners all over the world are eager to know what comes next. Fans, affectionately dubbed ‘Plague Rats’ consistently praise her ability to candidly speak on her experiences with mental illness and her unparalleled musical skill.
Musically, she combines the old and the new in order to create a brand new sound and aesthetic: a meeting of electronica and harpsichord in the most unlikely way to elevate each style above what we ever expected them to be.
You should be listening to Emilie Autumn because her musical and lyrical perspective is like that of no other artist in the alternative music scene. She embodies the past and the future in her enchanting music and her emotionally charged lyrics, conveying every emotion with care and passion. She showcases not just the darkness in humanity, but the humanity in darkness.
Fight Like A Girl is available via The Asylum Emporium.