Friday, January 20, 2012

Nerd Girl of Note #139: Emilie Autumn

I came across Emilie Autumn by accident, and completely forget where on the interwebz, but have grown a bit fond of her. Currently she has two albums out and a new one coming this year. The one I am familiar with is Opheliac, a gloomy Victorian meets '80s new wave collection full of heavy synth as well as harpsichord and violin.

Autumn's style sits somewhere between Gothic and "Steam Fop" with a touch of Otaku-friendly style. The songs on Opheliac are predominantly dark and tend to be heavy on suicide and child abuse, as well as songs like "Thank God I'm Pretty" which are a tad more ironic and/or attacks on society.

I do have to wonder a bit about her intent. She is a pretty talented violinist and singer, and her music is generally well produced... though at times it feels like pandering to the socially awkward. I guess a similar claim could be made regarding most pop stars, be it Lady Gaga or Amanda Palmer. Certainly she is not cranking out material like mad; only two album releases since 2003. But at her website the first thing I noticed was the link to her biography at her web shop, and a large "Get Shopping" link. Obviously she needs to support herself as an artist, but this kind of marketing seems at odds with the fringe persona she portrays. Conversely, her web shop is a disaster, filled with "Coming so, so soon...please check back!" mentions that lead me to believe the shop is necessary, yet an afterthought.

Regardless, I like her music and if her baring of soul is merely a character, well she would not be the first and at least the character is interesting.

Web Site

One of my favorites from Opheliac:


Lisa K. said...

She was my ~icon~ when I was sweet little 16.
As time went by I got more and more upset with her. She was constantly making big announcements (as you mentioned the 'comming soon') and all that happened was that she fired people from her crew who stole her light or disagreed with her. There is so much drama surrounding her and her (mostly made-up) past that I couldn't really enjoy her performance anymore. I still like to listen to her records, but would never pay to go to one of her shows again.
She could have had a big career in the scene by now, but destroyed a lot with her unprofessional and off-putting behaviour. Most fans from the beginning or from the Opheliac-Era are not with her anymore.

Darius Whiteplume said...

There are a lot of weird fans on Tumblr. The kind of fans that make you want to stop liking an artist, you know what I mean? Ah well, Opheliac is a good album :-)

Lisa K. said...

You mean the ones with the 'Emilie Autumn confessions' for example? ;D I once checked out her tag and it made me eyeroll from time to time. But it gets really tricky when those kind of fans also show up at the shows.
Opheliac is a wonderful album. My favourite song is '306'. What I particularly liked about it is that the sound was very different from her 'Enchant' record and well thought through.
Oh well, now I have to listen to it again ;)

T. Roger Thomas said...

I can understand her appeal in terms of looks and musical talent with the violin. Unfortunately, something about the production of all three tracks I listened to, the two above plus "306", just didn't encourage me to want to listen to more.

Nathan said...

I've gotten interested in her music recently as well. Don't really know much about her as a person, other than that she claims to be asexual.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Lisa K - yeah, that is one of them, then all the Plague Rats and "I wanna be a plague rat" posts. Seems very 6th grade to me ;-)

@TRT - understandable. I am a gloomy sort in real life, so it has its appeal for me.

@Nathan - I am interested in anyone who is weird. Maybe that is why I am such a narcissist? :-D

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