Falls Festival Feature Review: Emma Louise

Emma Louise by Stu BReview by KTBell, photos by Stu B.

Emma Louise at the Falls Festival, Lorne VIC
The Grand Theatre, Saturday 31 December 2011

We arrived at The Grand Theatre for Emma Louise where a considerable crowd had gathered. Starting out on stage solo, she played a song written the previous week called “British Admiral”. Inspired by a visit to King Island for Christmas, the reef is littered with over 200 shipwrecks and the song reflects upon all the sailors who never came home to their wives. With a sweet, tender opening on acoustic guitar, the lament and mourning was clear. Emma was joined on stage by her band for “Sandalwood” allowing her angelic vocals to fill the tent.

Next was “Our Song”, though I might have the name wrong, based on the experience of being dumped yet still going back for more. Interestingly opening with vocal harmonies and a strong beat, it was a song full of concern yet able to achieve a quiet, calm moment of stillness of held guitar and keys notes among the drumbeat. Having last seen Emma Louise in the support slot for Boy and Bear last year, I was impressed to see her showmanship has improved performance wise, possibly part of that lift is the band behind her, but on stage experience seems to have served her well.

She told the audience that she had lived in Brisbane during the floods, and to escape that scene, had gone home to Cairns only to be stranded by cyclone Yasi. “Warning Eyes” was written while waiting for Yasi to arrive and delivered a quiet, solemn opening, building with the imminent story. “Darts” was about a good friend not long passed away, a slow song where memories unravel and intertwine through melody and emphatic versus. She reveled in the fact that she was playing a few new ones for the crowd and
played another which I think was called “Staying”.

Emma Louise by Stu BNext she pulled one from her EP from when she first moved to Brisbane and was living in a share house with smelly boys. “Bugs” had a delightful full sound, with a strong guitar, piano, drums and a massive wallowing bass riff. Given that the previous year had been a whirlwind of activity with her sudden rise in popularity, among all the changes, she wrote “Flannelette Sheets”, a song about being away from a loved one. The opening harmonies were like a light rain shower building up to a heartfelt yearning crescendo ending. “Sun And Moon” was punctuated and rhythmic with echoey harmonies throughout the chorus. And to bring her set to a close, Emma Louise pulled out a punchy rendition of the hit “Jungle”. She had a dedicated audience and a solid, entertaining performance. Her style still holds on to much of the floaty, delicate intimacy created by her breathy style, but she has stepped in to her own as a festival performer.

2012 will certainly be Emma Louise‘s year.

Read the rest of our Falls Festival reviews, part 1 In The Beginning, part 2 Mid Stride and part 3 where Emma was featured, The Countdown.


  1. January 17, 2012 at 11:32

    […] part 2 Mid Stride, also take a look at our feature reviews from The Countdown, Kim Churchill and Emma Louise. Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  2. October 14, 2013 at 14:22

    […] it means the artists cover a range of styles but still features some of our favourites including Emma Louise, Gossling, Grizzly Bear, Neil Finn, The Cat Empire, The Paper Kites, The Preachers and a whole lot […]

  3. February 12, 2014 at 12:54

    […] smooth as butter and just as addictive. Her stage presence has come leaps and bounds since I last saw her at Falls in Lorne, a true professional graces the stage now and captures the audience, holding them with […]

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