Emily Pakes – We All Make Miss Pakes
The opening track of We All Make Miss Pakes, ‘Lying Awake’, kicks off with an gorgeousness that drips though the whole track, deep and chocolatey.
There’s a drive that you wont find in other tracks these days, and it makes for a real engagement with the EP, and once the vocal real lets rip and the mid point of the track, it really, really rips, in a way that puts Emily Musolino’s vocal right up there with all the contenders. I’m cautious to refer to divas like Adele and Beyonce, but Emily Musolino’s vocal is similarly rich and soulful, bringing character to the track in a way that is entirely unique, particularly at the mid port where things start to unravel a little. ‘More’ shifts into a remarkable rendition of classic blues, reinterpreted as an unapologetically sweary jazz number. Where the cussing hits, I was remind of the Cardigan’s ‘Losers’, where Nina Persson’s enunciation of “fuck” was a true shock. In all honesty, ‘My Kinda Special’ leaps out of the EP as its standout track, absolutely packed to the brim with soulful goodness. The track’s hook on the chorus is an absolute delight – once you’ve heard it once, your second listen will feel like an old friend has just returned, and you’ll be very happy they did. What also makes We All Make Miss Pakes so worthy of attention is Emily Pakes’ willingness to bring in someone other than herself on lead vocals, in this case she has drafted in previously mentioned Emily Musolino. While Pakes is usually better known as the mastermind behind comedy musical act Purdy Holsom, this project has no humour intended, and it’s a sign of true artistry to be able to cross genres so deftly. Pakes’ vocal does get a chance to be heard on ‘Taking License’, a deeply countrified number that bears many of the hallmarks of her comedy alter ego, but here her voice provides a sassy bite that cuts through in an arresting manner. The track blends the sharp vocals with warm instrumentation, which creates a positive tension that runs through the song, making it thoroughly engaging and just the right amount of fun. And so, it’s with ‘Lack of Faith’ that We All Make Miss Pakes reaches its conclusion. With wafting hints of the swaying hummability of ‘Dream A Little Dream’, its a soft and lilting track that brings the EP in to land with perfect aplomb. The acoustic guitar is up close and personal, with some great bass notes that are oh so slightly surprising, and yet add so much to the track’s tone. So what is there left to say, other than Emily Pakes has offered a beautiful selection of songs, well crafted and delivered with care and confidence. Add to that the fact that it’s available on Bandcamp on a name your price basis, what have you got to lose except the 17-odd minutes of listening time. Which, by the way, I doubt you’ll regret.