Artist Spotlight: Willolux
Columns / May 30, 2017
Kristina Emmott Shows Vulnerability on New EP
Alyssa Laube, Associate Editor
“I feel like everything is changing, but I still feel the same,” sings Kristina Emmott in the chorus to dreamy folk ballad “I Remain”.
The track is the first song on Willolux’s new record, and its lyrics sum up the essence of the EP. Travelling the world, getting engaged, dealing with past traumas, and otherwise easing into adulthood led singer-songwriter Kristina Emmott to “crack [herself] open” and reflect on her identity and happiness on her most recent record, Thread & Tape.
It’s a collection of songs about personal transformation, doubt, and discovery that aims to pull at the heartstrings of its audience. More clearly, it was a medium for healing for Emmott in a time of change and resolution.
Listen closely to the EP and you will find hints of Heatmiser, Sara Bareilles, and Ingrid Michaelson, but Willolux maintains a youthful folk-pop style. There is a subtle theatricality to Emmott’s songwriting, which is both delicate and intimate in its sound and lyrical content.
Emmott returned to Vancouver to record a five-song EP entitled This Fire, It Only Grows in 2015, after spending time busking in Australia.
“I’m proud of that EP, but I felt like I had to go deeper,” says Emmott. “It really inspired me to do something from the inside … I wanted to do a project that was a lot more personal and intimate, which is what this album is. And I’m so happy that it came to fruition, because it’s hard to be vulnerable. You have to be vulnerable to yourself sometimes.”
Thread & Tape was created in Producer Jon Anderson’s small studio in Maple Ridge, where he and Emmott spent a year perfecting and laying down nine tracks. The process of putting the EP together was long, personal, and reflective for Emmott, who struggled to come to terms with past hardships she had not yet accepted. “Losing friends, losing love, and having a broken home” are some of the issues tackled within its lyrics, with the end goal of “finally being okay, and embracing the fact that we’re flawed.”
“I had to break myself open and stitch myself back up, and hopefully not become a Frankenstein of who I used to be,” she says. Now, she is proud to have accomplished that goal.
Tracks like “Modern Day Maestro” are more objective than introspective, focusing on the dissonance between how people represent themselves on social media and the reality of who they are. Others are deeply personal and specific to Emmott’s lived experience. For instance, “Something Blue” explores the feeling of having cold feet leading up to getting married, and what it meant for her to start a new chapter in life.
The amount of time and patience it took to complete the EP determined to its title, according to Emmott.
“It’s called Thread & Tape because it’s a thread of time and the songs were just slowly stitched into this album. Also, tape because it was recorded over a year of my life,” she says.
Thread & Tape will be released digitally on June 23. The release show is scheduled for June 24 at the St. James Hall, where Willolux will be performing with a full choir.