CD, Wonderland Records, 2007
Originally a member of indie-pop band Paris, Swedish musician Emma Nylén has recorded her own music as Emmon since 2001. Although she released several demos to club DJs, made a number of live appearances and remixed tracks for other artists in the guise of Emmon during that time, she did not sign to Swedish label Wonderland Records until 2006. “The Art & The Evil” is her debut solo album and has seen the release of three singles including Nylén’s debut single, “Wake up Time”.
“The Art & The Evil”, written and composed by Nylén herself, is distinctly electro in style and features the indifferent attitude that typically characterises this genre of electronic music. Falling on the poppier side of electro, “The Art & The Evil” bears all the hallmarks of classic synthpop music in a new redefined setting. Although fairly simple in structure, Nylén’s songs are instantly likeable with her distinct European vocal stylings being the focal point of the album. There are nods towards the likes of Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Human League, the Pet Shop Boys and Nylén also draws vocal influence from modern electro bands such as Client and Goldfrapp whilst maintaining her pop sensibilities. Her music also retains its distinctly modern edge whilst drawing on the elements that made synthpop such a distinctive and successful movement back in the 80s. Album opener “High Horses” is a perfect electro-pop song with wonderfully delivered vocals and a driving synth backing. This momentum continues through “Frenzy Eyes”, on to the retro disco flavour of “Rock D’Amour” and the cool indie-electro attitude of “Wake up Time” and “Friends”. And it doesn’t stop there! This updating and fusion of old styles with new elevates “The Art & The Evil” above just another electro-pop album. “Shark Attack” for example retains the familiar electro vocal sensibilities but has also prominent and distinctive house music characteristics. Most of all, Nylén’s music is undeniably infectious, practically every track on the album has a sharp ear for a catchy and addictive tune.
If you like your electro poppy, upbeat and catchy, Emmon is the thing for you. Not really retro but more an updating and reinterpretation of the classic electro and synthpop sound. All the hooks and coolness are intact but redefined for a new generation.
— Paul Lloyd