After releasing three albums of original contemporary folk music, singer/songwriter Emily Mure shines a light on her influences — as well as her unique, classically-influenced arrangements — with Sad Songs and Waltzes.
A six-track EP of reimagined cover songs, Sad Songs and Waltzes finds Mure putting her own stamp on material originally performed by Radiohead, The Cranberries, Coldplay, Willie Nelson, Wilco, and The Shins. The majority of those artists launched their careers during the alternative-rock boom of the 1990s, but Mure keeps her own versions folky and acoustic-based, revising each track to suit the unique approach of a musician whose past records have earned her the support not only of New York City's singer/songwriter community, but of the Folk scene at large. Tracks from Sad Songs and Waltzes will be released as a string of singles during the coming months, while the EP will officially hit stores this Fall.
"This is a passion project and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time," says the New York native, who co-produced the EP at Boston's Dimension Sound Studios with Dan Cardinal. "One of my favorite things to do is to reimagine other artists’ songs. These covers are a mix of collaborative studio magic and my very deliberate arranging."
Those arrangements play a central role in Sad Songs and Waltzes' sound. A classically-trained instrumentalist and lifelong oboist who performed at world-class venues like Carnegie Hall as a teenager, Mure weaves unexpected musical touches throughout these recordings.
Assisting her throughout the EP are a handful of friends, collaborators, and tour mates, including Elizabeth Ziman (frontwoman of Elizabeth and the Catapult, as well as a guest vocalist and pianist on several songs here) and singer/songwriter Caroline Cotter.
Raised on New York City's Roosevelt Island, Emily Mure sharpened her songwriting chops while studying music at Ithaca College and busking on the streets of Galway, Ireland. She later returned to New York, pursuing her songwriting career in the same city that housed her grandfather, musician Billy Mure. Over the course of three acclaimed albums, she has cracked the Top 10 on the Folk DJ Charts, showcased at the International Folk Alliance conference, toured internationally, and seen her music featured on NBC, ABC, and PBS. She's also made a habit of nodding to those who've come before her, adding covers of David Bowie's "As the World Falls Down" and Cake's "Mexico" to the original music that fills previous albums. With Sad Songs and Waltzes, she directs her focus toward her influences, while also doubling down on her own ability to transform — and transcend — the sounds that helped inspire her to pursue a career as a songwriter.
- Andrew Leahey