The debut album by Emma-Jean Thackray feels exactly like the sort
of thing we’ve all been longing for over the last 12 months: a
transcendent, human, shared experience. Across its 49 minutes,
‘Yellow’ draws glowing lines between 1970s jazz fusion and P-Funk,
the cosmic invocations of Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane and the
gorgeous orchestration of the Beach Boys.
“I wanted the whole thing to sound like a psychedelic trip,” explains
Thackray. “You put on the first track, it takes you through this intense
experience for almost an hour, and then you emerge on the other
side transformed.” The result is an album that speaks the language of
positivity, as rich lyrically as it is musically.
One might best understand what Thackray does through reference to
auteur figures like Brian Wilson or Madlib, who straddle
instrumentation, arrangement and production in order to bring the
sound in their head to fruition. As a composer, producer, singer, multiinstrumentalist
and DJ, Emma is just as at home working with the
London Symphony Orchestra as she is hosting her show on
Production credits and collaborations include the likes of Squid,
Makaya McCraven, BLU and Pinty.