I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who can be fluid with their musical career. Though decade-long stints in a band, maintaining a certain level of quality throughout is tough (I’m looking at you Jagger), taking part in multiple projects AND STILL producing great music is in my opinion even harder.
I’ve been a fan of Haines largely through her work with Metric, but her solo albums (under Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton) and contributions to Broken Social Scene – which also features Feist, another talented Canadian – are worth checking out. She’s also appeared on tracks with MSTRKRFT, Stars, Delerium and even Tiesto.
The track Help I’m Alive shows off her voice to full effect. It’s delicate and in parts sickly-sweet – identical to that of Inara George from The Bird and the Bee – but when paired with an earworm of an electric guitar riff, the two compliment each other more than you’d imagine. Gold Guns Girls (probably Metric’s best known song) pushes this even further and shows clear influence from Garbage’s Shirley Manson, as well as a hint of Chrissie Hynde.
Some of Metric’s tracks are a little ’emo’ for my liking (a yet-to-be released track called Eclipse is due to appear on the next Twilight soundtrack for instance), but when the stars align – it’s beautiful. Black Sheep is the type of song that makes becoming a rockstar seem achievable to a young girl (which I believe is in no small part the reason that Edgar Wright chose it as the soundtrack for Envy Adams’ band The Clash at Demonhead in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World).
All this without even taking note of how smack-me-in-the-face cool she is. I actually think I might have to swap out Alison ‘all my songs sound the same and have done for the past three years’ Goldfrapp for Haines in my dream ‘Come Dine With Me’ line-up. This currently includes girls I can drink red wine with and play Stevie Nicks REALLY LOUDLY (Karen-O, Florence, Roisin Murphy, Alice Russell and Drew Barrymore).