Emmy the Great
|Emmy the Great|
Emmy the Great performing at the Purcell Room in 2011
|Birth name||Emma-Lee Moss|
|Born||1984 (age 28–29)|
|Genres||Anti-folk, indie folk|
|Labels||Fear And Records, Close Harbour|
|Associated acts||Younghusband, So Say So, Pengilly's, Three Trapped Tigers, Noah and the Whale, Jeremy Warmsley, Johnny Flynn, Brighton Port Authority, Lightspeed Champion, Ash|
Emma-Lee Moss (born c. 1984), known by her stage name Emmy the Great, is a London-based singer-songwriter. She has released two albums, First Love and Virtue.
Moss was born in Hong Kong to an English father and a Chinese mother. Interested in music from a young age, she used to go by train to her nearest Tower Records shop so that she could buy the only non-Chinese music they had and, as a result, she developed a liking for bands such as Weezer, The Smashing Pumpkins, and The Lemonheads.
She emigrated with her family to London at the age of 12.
She has performed with indie folk groups Lightspeed Champion and Noah and the Whale, but is primarily known for her solo work. She first emerged under the name Emmy the Great in 2004, when she released a series of free demos over the internet. She says the moniker came about when "wanted to be a backing singer and [...] wanted to have something to hand to people... ‘Emmy’ is a name they called me at university, which I hated, and ‘the Great’ I added on because I hated ‘Emmy’ so much." She formed a backing band which currently includes Euan Hinshelwood of Younghusband, Glenn Kerrigan of So Say So, Tom Rogerson of Three Trapped Tigers and Ric Hollingbery of Pengilly's, and has previously included members of Noah and the Whale and Johnny Flynn.
Her debut single, Secret Circus, was released in April 2006.
She began writing her debut album, First Love, in "dilapidated studios" owned by The Earlies in rural Lancashire and was released in February 2009. It spawned the singles We Almost Had A Baby and First Love. The album was received with generally positive reviews, while The New York Times compiled their list of "Best Albums of the Year 2009" and ranked First Love at #7.
Her second album, Virtue, was released on June 13, 2011. The album's lead single "Iris" was released as a digital download on April 29, 2011. Speaking of the album's recording process, Moss said that, "It’s been a very strange few months, and I can’t wait to make a record of them".
Both albums are released on Emmy's own label Close Harbour Records.
She has collaborated with several other artists, most notably Lightspeed Champion and Fatboy Slim (as part of the Brighton Port Authority project).
She has also worked with alternative rock band Ash (for whom she has shown great admiration) on an acoustic studio re-recording of the single "D" - "Tracers" and also performed with them on their A-Z tour. Moss recorded a cover of Ash's song "Burn Baby Burn" which was the B-side to her single "First Love". She provided guest vocals on "Calling Out Your Name Again", the second single from Darren Hayman's Essex Arms album.
She is a mentor for The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music (Strummerville)
In April 2011, Moss collaborated with writers Jack Underwood, Nikesh Shukla, Joe Dunthorne and Miriam Elia for the London Word Festival, along with musician Elizabeth Sankey of Summer Camp.
In May 2011, Moss and Tim Wheeler covered a song called "Washington Parks" raising money and awareness for multiple sclerosis and the MS Society. Moss said, "I have just recorded a song with Wheeler for the MS Society. The song is called Washington Parks and it was written by Robert Manning. Robert is the word 'awesome'. He writes a really beautiful about his family life and the pain of MS treatment, and also came up with the idea to get people to record his song for charity. So far Ed Harcourt, Marissa Nadler, and loads more have signed up. Tim has a special Ash collaboration version lined up as well."
In November 2011 Emmy and Tim Wheeler released a Christmas album, entitled This is Christmas (Infectious, 2011).
On October 31st 2012, Emmy teamed up with Kate Nash on Halloween in a reenactment of the Buffy musical episode (once more with feeling) with herself as Willow. 
Emmy has written for music magazines The Stool Pigeon, Artrocker and Drowned in Sound, and for the QI Annual. She also has a fortnightly column in the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao, and contributed writing to the BBC Radio 4 show The Museum of Curiosity. She claimed in an interview that she has no plans to be a music journalist. An article of hers, based on her time in Omaha with Lightspeed Champion, is featured in the Stool Pigeon compilation book Grace Under Pressure. She stated that if she had not been a musician, "I’d be a writer of some sort, in different formats." Her writing styles have been praised as being poetic.
She is childhood friends with feminist and columnist Jazz Mellor, who is referenced in several Emmy the Great songs.
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