It’s what you forget that kills you
Out of all the subtlety in Lifeblood, I’d vote Emily as the most subtle of all the tracks. I base this on the fact that it took the longest to grow on me. And by grow I mean it became from a good track to a brilliant track.
Such a suave song full of fantastic vocal melodies, curious musical changes, some wonderful drumming from Sean and Nicky’s great set of lyrics. Instrumentally this song is just blissful – outside Sean’s great drumming you’ve got that groovy bass line, the wonderful ethereal high-pitched keyboard lines, the cool and collected guitar lines and the disappearing and re-appearing piano tingles. Then the chorus transforms into a wonderfully understated yet celebratory (nicely contrastic to the lyrics about unanswered questions) flight with dovetailing guitarlines. Oooh man, James’ guitar lines in this song are pure bliss. There’s so much delicious material going on in the song and so many obvious hooks, but it’s all played almost unnoticably; very subtly. Which is why it takes time to grow.
And thus Emily turned from just a good song to an understated and brilliant, important piece of Lifeblood.
Emily was a seemingly big track during the creation of Lifeblood, it was one of the songs Nicky kept constantly mentioning during the interviews before and after the album. It never got a live airing, naturally. For all the hoo-hah about its lyrical inspiration – the suffragette icon Emily Pankhurst and how her accomplishments are hardly ever mentioned while the nation goes apeshit over the likes of Princess Diana (Nicky’s pet hates, not mine!) – the song doesn’t really make such a big deal out of it. It’s less anger and frustration and more so given up and nonchalant in defeat. The chorus even steps away slightly from the subject to deliver a more universal set of truths and laments.