Salisbury born, London based Emma Ballantine is a magical singer/ songstress who has been independently releasing music since 2012. Back then she released the Flying Machine EP, three years later Emma returned with yet another glittering mini album titled Tourist. She’s actually a true talent to behold, Ballantine was a finalist in the UK Unsigned Songwriter of the Year competition, her music has been played by BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing plus she’s been described by Resonance FM as ‘a unique voice among modern songwriters’.
Finally Emma has toured around the UK and Germany, playing at festivals including Glastonbury, Sidmouth Folk Week and Home Farm Festival. She’s also played some of the capital’s best known venues, such as The Bedford, The Troubadour, The Barfly and Hard Rock Cafe.
We then get to 2017, Emma Ballantine has dropped her newest EP Somebody’s Story and honestly I was taken aback how breathtaking it actually was. This project brought to life true stories from people around the world and the results were extraordinary. It actually reached #1 in the Singer/Songwriter iTunes charts
Somebody’s Story consisted of 4 sumptuous songs which were drenched in plenty of folk/ pop goodness. The pacey Secret Tunnel kicked off this exquisite EP and it literally was a breath of fresh air. Emma’s vocals were extremely enchanting and those lyrics were sheer genius. They were crystal clear making me picture a emotional distressing court case. Whilst listening to Secret Tunnel I then began to read this 14 year old girl’s story and I have to say it’s rather harrowing. To cut this story short it revolved around child abuse, this was then taken to court and the father was found guilty on 5 sample charges. This girls foster family had to be given police protection and during the trial they had to park in the police compound. They used a secret tunnel between the police station and the Crown Court “There’s a Secret Tunnel/ Running to the court house door/ I’m going to walk through it tomorrow/ You can’t hurt me anymore/ I’m going to find new home/ Now that I can stand on my own/ At the end of that Secret Tunnel/ Gonna let him go”.
What followed next on this luscious EP was the delectable Harmonise. This tune centred around a chance meeting at a dive bar in Chicago. Now Emma’s vocal tones were ridicuously rich and at the same time they emitted plenty of dreamy folk vibes. Anyways this tune tells the tale of attending a jam night and meeting a sterling singer/ guitarist who is also a regular to that dive bar “There is healing in his fingers/ There is comfort in his voice/ And there’s moments when we harmonise”. As this tune progressed you can tell that this man he met in this bar has passed on “Stranger to friend to memory”.
Now Astronaut was a hypnotising number which told the story of Vicki Smith who flew all the way to Kenya to marry a man she’d just met. Basically it was love at first sight and Emma had crafted something well and truly wondrous “The ticket arrived/ You’re leaving and I have to decide/ To be 7000 miles apart by your side/ It’s only a flight/ But it feels years of life/ And everything I’ve known till now is staying behind”. This all took place in the 1950’s and from the lyrics you can tell that there was that feeling of nervousness.
Ending this tremendous release was the emotionally tinged Through Your Eyes. Now this whimsical tune offered a glimpse of the world as seen by 14 year-old James, who has autism. The lyrics were based on a story submitted by James’ mother Nancy, the song credits James as a co-writer and features samples from his own music, created with Baltimore-based producer and beat-boxer Max Bent. Everything about this succulent song was utter perfection the melody was rather chilled out/ soothing then you had Ballantine’s outstanding sweet vocal range which I found to be both light/ airy.
Somebody’s Story is available to purchase on iTunes
To read the stories behind each track click HERE