EMMON is Emma Nylén from Mora, Sweden. She started her musical career early last decade while studying fine arts at Konstfack in Stockholm, one of the top art schools in Sweden.
There, she spent a lot of time messing about in the school’s soundlab and this was where EMMON was born.
The name actually derives from one of her friends describing her ecstatic state of mind while playing with all the electronic gadgets: “Emma is on” – in short EMMON! In the very beginning, her music was quite minimal and rather monotonous electronica, actually a bit electro-clash inspired. But over the years, her music has matured into an energetic and melodic style of electropop, often very danceable and catchy. The music is both cold and warm, hard and soft, all at the same time. It’s urban, European, modern, authentic, stylish and elegantly sexy, just like Emma herself.
EMMON recorded a number of demos between 2003 and 2006 before she finally got a record deal with Gothenburg based label Wonderland Records. The first release was the single ‘Wake Up Time’ in 2006, followed by her debut album ‘The Art and The Evil’ and the singles ‘Rock D’amour’ and ‘Down Below’ in 2007. The follow up album ‘Closet Wanderings’ came in 2009, accompanied by the download singles ‘Secrets and Lies’ and ‘Lips on Fire’. During all this time, she has also been a part of the more traditional indie pop act PARIS.
EMMON last played live in Gothenburg in August of 2009 so it was really time for a new proper gig here. Supported on stage by Niklas K¡rreskog (synths), Jimmy Monell (synths and drumpads) and Tony Ahola (various percussion and drumpads), it no longer felt like a one person project based on backing tracks as EMMON’s live career once started out as, but a proper pop band. It is as if the whole concept has now reached its final perfection; a classic synth pop quartet. Nice!
As always, EMMON opened the show on max and then accelerated from there. She is able to dance frantically, sing beautifully and play the occasional part on her synth – all at once. If you somehow could utilize the energy she exudes during the show, I’ll guess you would be able to power all the machines on stage, including the lighting and the speakers!
You can really tell that EMMON absolutely loves what she is doing and this genuine musical joy is always getting her very good feedback from the audience. It’s also fun to watch Tony’s one man sideshow by the percussion devices with a few extra toys for him to let loose his energy on. Niklas and Jimmy both looked very cool and serious behind their synths and all together, this made the show much better and more interesting than many other similar bands manage to accomplish, despite the lack of background videos and other special effects.
Some brand new songs had been promised and this of course provided extra interest. They turned out to be three real hits! ‘Ghost Dance’ started a bit slow with a seductive melody that suggested that soon a really powerful dance track would break loose and yes – it did actually live up to that promise.
Slottet reminded me a bit of Niklas and Tony’s own band, JOY SERENE, a little darker and rawer sound with powerful atmospheres. ‘All Yours’ (final title to be decided) was another dancefloor killer in league with last year’s hit ‘Lips on Fire’. It seems that the upcoming EMMON album will be something to really look forward to and for me, I can’t wait.
Besides the new songs, EMMON also played ‘Secrets and Lies’, ‘Disco Perkele’, ‘White Trash Wedding’, ‘Down Below’, ‘Teenage Kickers’ and of course ‘Lips on Fire’, complete with a singalong from the audience in the chorus. EMMON and her so called joy-boys kept a hard pace throughout the gig and when EMMON left the stage for the first time, the boys all pretended to pass out from exhaustion and remained ‘lifeless’ on the stage floor until she came back in for the encore.
Emma herself ranked this show as one of her best so far, and I have to agree. You can’t call it anything but a success. Good tempo, big enthusiastic crowd, fantastic atmosphere, skilled musicians and brilliant songs. What more could you possibly ask for? EMMON delivered – again. EMMON live – she’s a must see!
The original Swedish version of this article is published at www.synth.nu
Text and Photos by Johan Wejedal
1st December 2010