Emily Mae Winters – Siren Serenade

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Emily Mae Winters first came to our attention last year with the release of her four-song Foreign Waters EP, produced by Ben Walker, which clearly pointed in the direction of a potentially promising future. Confident in this knowledge, the singer songwriter once again teams up with Walker along with Lauren Deakin Davies, who co-produce Emily’s follow up debut full length album Siren Serenade. There’s a healthy mix of British and American country folk here; on the one hand there’s such country-inflected songs as “Hook, Line and Sinker” and “Blackberry Lane”, both of which benefit enormously by Ben Savage’s fine Dobro fills, then Emily alternates this with such British folk club fare as “Fiddler’s Green” and “Down By the Sally Gardens”, both of which are treated to a lavish arrangements, reflecting Emily’s own Irish upbringing and Celtic sensibilities. This is further exemplified by “The Ghost of the Pirate Queen”, a folk ballad packed with poetic Irish imagery. With poetry close to Emily’s heart, the dreamy originals continue to hold our attention, such as the lavishly arranged Reprise, the confident power balladry of “As If You Read My Mind” and the gospel-tinged a cappella of the title song, aided by fellow singers Hannah Sanders Lauren Parker and Lauren Bush. With dreamy cover artwork courtesy of Elly Lucas, Siren Serenade is a fine debut.