TRACK: Emma Kupa – ‘Nawlins’: indie-folk for The Big Easy and pop art dancing

YOU know what? She’s just a bit lovely, is Emma Kupa, Sheffield songstress bringing us warm observations across the indie-folk Venn overlap. 

Twas only a few weeks back she dazzled us with the amorous sweetness of “Hey Love”,  a naked little nugget about the realities of a relationship, the video all filmed against 70s’ wallpaper straight to camera like an Alan Sillitoe short story found musical life. 

She did a little solo session for us in her back garden, just her and her guitar powering through “Nothing At All” in an Edenic, apple-filled setting. She can sing some, right? She has power and indie sweetness and a little unbridled folksy edge, the point where strict melody might give way to cathartic emotional expression; you suspect she could, if she so chose, maybe give it the full Black Francis scream on a cover of “Debaser”.

Now, ahead of an album a lot of us here are really looking forward to, It Will Come Easier, which Palo Santo and Fika Recordings will bring to the world on September 18th, she’s released the video for “Nawlins”, a cute-as-you-like folksy indie tune that swoons into a chorus full of harmony. Hang on a sec, though: what’s a Nawlins? It’s New Orleans as rendered phonetically in a well, Nawlins accent, of course.

Emma says: “‘Nawlins’ is a song about a period when I was travelling around a fair bit visiting family and I would end up hanging out with really fun people that I was put in touch with by friends and family here in the UK. 

“It’s always good to know someone in a new place who can show you around, especially if you’re on your own.”

She sings of “Running round Nawlins, in the rain / With a souped-up Catholic boy who is ready for anything … Slugging whisky from the bottle / With a girl so pretty she could be a model.”.

It’s the kinda of deeply hummable postcard you wish you could receive from relatives on holiday. That guitar break at the end comes at you straight from a Talulah Gosh song, and it all clocks in just a second shy of the three-minute pop song threshold. Sweet.

And it all comes visually packaged with decidedly fun indie dancefloor shapes, rendered split-screen and pop art two-colour made, Emma says, “with the help of my neighbour Sara, a choreographer, and her students. The video was edited by Darren Hayman. It was [filmed] during the end of lockdown.”

It Will Come Easier is actually Emma’s debut album as just herself, and comes as a main course to follow her 2015 EP, Home Cinema. It’ll be out on vinyl and CD: you can pre-order it here for the wax format and here for the little silver one. 

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