Album Review: Emilie Kahn – Outro

‘Wistful melancholy’ are the words to describe Emilie Kahn’s sophomore album Outro. Three years on from her debut album 10,000, under her previous moniker Emilie & Ogden (Ogden being Kahn’s harp), Outro sees Kahn’s artistic and musical prowess continue to evolve in the form of nostalgic, diaphanous yet soul-baring songs, embodying the melancholy of adulthood.

Having found her seat at the table of Montreal’s indie-rock scene, this album is only confirmation of that deserved recognition. Whilst the harp remains an integral part of this project, Kahn blends nu-folk influences with darker, electronic elements, providing a uniquely-produced sound world. Such musical characteristics provide the perfect backdrop to the album’s reflective content; the opening track Swimmer, issues a harmonically-rich introduction with sustained chords under an elegant harp-run, before Kahn enters with almost-angelic vocals reminiscing over the ‘what if’s of a relationship, whilst Island is an internal battle between wanting to remain in a conflicting situation to the point of wanting to disappear.

Heavier tracks such as Three sees a sudden shift in tone, the rocky repetition of ‘I’m tired of playing the guessing game’ over intensely- strummed electric guitars to emulate this frustration, before a sudden yet oddly-cohesive transition back to previously seen wistfulness. Will You?, arguably the album’s stand-out track, incorporates the use of disconcertingly uncomfortable harmonies before transcending into a highly catchy chorus, showing-off Kahn as a truly multi-faceted artist. The album’s closer, Seeking, is almost irresolute, as the use of just Kahn, her harp and heavily reverberated vocals creates the air of contemplative isolation of regretting past mistakes. This album is the ultimate soundtrack to heartache, confusion and hope, which Kahn so well articulates so that we don’t have to.

Outro is available now through Secret City Records. Listen here.C