Interview – Emma Hunter

I recently reviewed British singer-songwriter and musician Emma Hunter’s new EP Here I Go, and found myself suitably impressed. She’s had quite an interesting musical career so I decided to have a chat with her and find out a little bit more – check out the interview below!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new EP titled Here I Go. What can you tell us about the EP?

It explores the world of hidden desires and a fear of letting go. In the first track Here I Go we explore a dangerous relationship and the question of ‘Should I leave or just forget the pain?’ In Nightingale the character of the song hears a beautiful voice and falls in love. It continues the narrative from Here I Go and paves the way to her recognising that she needs to move on and take a risk. It explores quiet, internal desire. Treacle Well exists in a different world and is all about a fear of failure and explores the moment of feeling trapped and panicked by self-doubt. It takes influences from Alice in Wonderland in the video and we tried to create a sense of closing in. Window explores the concept of duality. The face we present to the world and the assumptions we make about other peoples’ lives. It also explores the fact that so much of what we see around us has two stories – especially statues of historic figures, things are not always what we think they are.

Do you have any plans to release a full-length album anytime soon?

We are hoping to next year. We think that we will release another EP next spring and then work on an album, we would love to release it on vinyl if possible!

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

I tend to have a rhythm, beat or bass line in my head and then the rest just follows. The guitar comes out and then I’ll keep working on the track. I need to be alone though and I tend to return to more minor chords or chords from the Phrygian scale. I’ll then work with the song in rehearsal with Tom and work on the dynamics and structure together.

Do you plan to release any singles at any point in the near future?

We have a song coming out next month called Love Is Not A Choice. It has a really Latin feel to it and uses the looper to develop layers of vocals and bass. It has a really important message too.

You’re based in the Oxford area. What is the music scene like there and are there any local bands you can recommend?

The music scene in Oxford is fantastic, but it’s suffered a lot since COVID struck. There is a great magazine called Nightshift which helps to bring the scene together, but in recent years we have lost a lot of venues. We love Julia-Sophie, Black Hats and Flights of Helios.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

I love David Lynch and he has really influenced our sound. When I write songs I like to also consider the visual element of our songs and will often have images which come to mind as I write. I love artists like Anna Calvi, Imogen Heap and David Bowie but I’m always drawn to trip hop music too. Tom really loves The Libertines and being from Oxford, we love Radiohead too.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

It’s really affected playing live! Now we are playing live again I’m really aware that we need to get our confidence back at performing live and to get back into the swing of things. We were able to record our last EP though and make our videos during the pandemic, so the time we lost in practicing and gigging, we gained in other areas.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

28th October, at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford but we are hoping to tour next year! Watch this space!

What can people expect from an Emma Hunter gig and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?

I tend to be very serious when singing and then become a human muppet in between songs, so expect some bad jokes. Expect dramatic, cinematic, dark music. The looper comes into its own in real life and it’s always a pleasure to perform for people.

Any last words for the fans?

Just a big thank you for all the support, it means the world to us.