Operating her own record label from a charming shack within the Australian bush, one will find the lovely Emily Maguire.
Classically trained as both a cellist and pianist and self-taught with a guitar, Maguire eventually grew tired of the grey skies of London and uprooted her life to the countryside of Queensland, Australia, where she continued to write her songs and prepared for the release of her first album.
Stranger Place arrived in 2004 on her own, Shaktu Records, and won wide critical acclaim throughout Australia and opened the door to some prestigious venues. Most notable perhaps was opening for Gail Ann Dorsey, renowned bassist for David Bowie. She would then spend the next couple of years touring in support of Stranger Place, much throughout the U.K. and Australia.
Last year, Maguire encorporated violin, viola and cello into the recording of her follow-up, and literally became her own string ensemble, rounding out a sound that is made complete with the talents of bassist Christian Dunham and drummer Shane Nesic.
Keep Walking arrived earlier this year and has quickly made its impression. Following its launch in New York, ABC Radio in Australia quickly added the title-track to its national playlist and Maguire has already booked another tour for the summer to support the record.
Dense with emotion and rich with thought-provoking lyrics, Keep Walking is a sublime album to experience. Maguire’s voice possesses that rare timbre that gracefully streamlines its accompanying melody. It soars beautifully in the socially conscience ‘TV To Take It Away’ and carries the uplifting energy in the motivating ‘Keep Walking.’ On ‘Passing By,’ a listener can sense a tinge of mystery and eerieness, much in part to the song’s beautiful strings and Maguire’s cool delivery. And on ‘Wanted,’ Maguire’s cello seeps a deep hum that can easily instill chills. It doesn’t take long to realize you’re listening to something truly great.
This year will no doubt be a special one for Emily Maguire. She’s currently scheduled to attend the Cambridge Folk Festival in July and is planning an acoustic tour during the fall throughout the U.K.
Hopefully, her growing audience of North American fans will have an opportunity to hear this remarkable songwriter in person. But until then, they have two incredible albums to enjoy by this incredibly gifted artist.