Emilie Kahn Finds Her Own Harp-Infused Sound in New Album, Outro

Captivating, ethereal and transformative, Emilie Kahn’s Outro already feels like a ready-made movie soundtrack.

Kahn, a harpist hailing from Montreal, gained some notoriety from her previous album, 10,000, released three years previously, in addition to her cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘Style’ which went viral after being shared by Swift herself. Her new album, Outro, signals a departure into a new more individual sound.

Instrumentally, the most interesting and unique aspect of the record is the use of harp throughout, hevaily contrasting with the reverberated vocals and electronic synths. Breathy layered vocals and a mixture of calming and memorable melodies feature heavily throughout. At times, the lyrics can be heard to hear through this vocal style, however for the most part this is not the case and each song features a clear narrative.

The first track, ‘Swimmer’, begins with an infusion of sounds, reminiscent to a movies opening screen. Then vocals enter and the show has begun. The next track, ‘Island’, is a highlight with a clear chorus that offers a strong sing along melody and feel good accompaniment.

Another noteworthy track is the fourth track, titled ‘Will You’. It was released at the end of January and has an uneasy darker feel, with oscillating detuned synths and lyrics including, “Will you take care of me when I’m dying? Drown in my salt water when I’m crying?”

Some of the tracks ‘Horse’ and ‘Don’t’, are more stripped back but both sit comfortably within the wider body of work. ‘Never Good Enough’ reintroduces the signature harp and ‘Seeking’ rounds off the record nicely, however perhaps one of the less mellow tracks would have been a better fit for the final track.

Overall, Emilie Kahn’s Outro is a refreshing listen which may soon need retitling to Intro, as it seems the young artist has firmly found her sound in this record and this will be just the beginning.

[4.5/5 stars]

Jennifer Hyman