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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Spotlight on: Emilie Autumn

Emilie Autumn; poet, writer, singer, classically-trained violinist, pianist, fashion designer and all-round multi-talented post-apocalyptic fairy-tale neo-Victorian princess. Debates rage all over the interwebs about whether or not EA's ever-changing brand of music can be considered truly 'Goth' - but whether it falls definitively into the Goth category or not, most of us don't really care, and a lot of us like it.

Source: Google

Emilie began learning the violin at the age of four and attended several prestigious music and performing arts schools, including the Indiana University School of Music, where reportedly she left after two years due to clashes with teachers over her long brightly-coloured hair and alternative music and clothing preferences.

After leaving uni Emilie and her friends created her first band, Ravensong, and in 2000 she created her own record label, Traitor Records, to release her classical violin recording, On A Day... Traitor Records has since been home to the music of EA's lesser-known alter egos and side projects, namely Convent and the Jane Brooks Project.

Emilie's career has been star-studded and varied; she has worked with musicians from Smashing Pumpkins to Courtney Love (as part of the all-girl band the Chelsea and on Courtney's first solo album; she was in fact known as Courtney's 'anarchy violinist') and has performed music for the animated show Metalocalypse. It's unusual to hear about an underground artist with such a grounding in mainstream rock. She also contributed to the soundtracks of Saw movies 3 and 4, and has played violin on a track for the band OTEP.

When working with Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, EA was running a fashion label called WillowTech House, purveying her own unique 'punktorian' fashions and accessories, and so she created the costumes for Billy's single Shade.

Following the horrific events of 9/11, Emilie also released a charity single entitled By The Sword. The proceeds were donated to AmeriCares and the American Red Cross.

Emilie's fashions have always drawn a great deal of attention from the alternative music scenes; her full-length debut album under the Emilie Autumn moniker was entitled Enchant, and its 'fantasy rock' sound was echoed by her faerie-inspired clothing and long pink hair, often teamed with fairy wings and a spiked collar. The album that brought her such great attention from the Goth scene, however, was the Victoriandustrial release Opheliac, coupled with corsets, combat boots, bloomers, stripes and assorted neo-Victorian asylum-inmate paraphernalia. Her deconstructed wardrobe is predominantly made by herself or her friend and fellow performer, designer Vecona.

Vecona is linked to Emilie via EA's merry band of stage performers, an ever-changing group of musicians and alternative models who are collectively known as the Bloody Crumpets or Emilie's Wayward Victorian Girls.

But the truly amazing thing about Emilie's life, as revealed in detail via her semi-autobiographical, heavily illustrated tome The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls is that she has achieved so much whilst suffering from bipolar disorder (manic depression). Traumatic events in her life led to Emilie being sectioned after a suicide attempt; a terrible experience which she recounts to her fans in her own handwriting (the entire book is written by hand, filled with photos and Emilie's painstaking illustrations).

Essential Emilie Autumn...
Album: Opheliac
Track: So many to choose from! I'm going to go with 4 O'Clock, I think...
Other purchase: The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls book.
Random fact: Emilie's own Asylum Tea will soon be available via her website.
If you like Emilie Autumn, you might like: Hannah Fury, The Dresden Dolls, Leandra, Scarling, Rasputina, Vermillion Lies, Johnny Hollow, Switchblade Symphony.
Get more Emilie: http://www.emilieautumn.com/

10 comments:

Sinister Hope said...

My favorite album of Emilie's would have to be Enchant. So fairy-like! :D
A few of my friends and I also made a hand clapping game for Miss Lucy had Some Leaches.

Oh, and on a sidenote, for neo-medieval goth, (this has nothing to do with this post) what would a nice style of winter coat be? Not a cloak per say, but not a frock coat either.

VictorianAndroid said...

My love for this woman can not be adequately expressed in writing. She is without a doubt my favorite artist ever for multiple reasons. Now if only she could come out with FLAG sooner...

akumaxkami said...

I adore her look but I'm honestly not a huge fan of her music.

Oxymoron said...

She's my newest obsession (^^,)

It's so inspiring to see how she doesn't compromise who she truly is for anyone.

I also love how she is so open about her bipolar. Mental disorders are so highly stereotyped and such that most mentally ill people have difficulty accepting it and thus effectively managing their illness.

She's so open and truly shared herself with the world and anyone willing to listen.

Celeste said...

Thanks for this post on EA! I have just gotten into her and I love her music. I was wondering, though, what exactly makes music "goth"? Since the goth subculture is based on a type of music, I'm trying to figure out just what that music is. I can understand 80s bands such as the Cure and others who basicly kicked off the goth scene are considered such, but what makes music today such as The Birthday Massacure goth, and My Chemcical Romance for instance, not?

Scarlet Velvet said...

I love EA :D
I was so distraught last year when she came to Australia in March, and I was in the dilemma of not being able to afford tickets or have a way of getting to Sydney that night since there was no one who would come with me.
However two people I know who weren't friends of mine at the time were there and they said how fantastic the show was. I hope I'll see her live one day, and that I might have made her a present as a thank you.

I love your blog, Amy!

Maggie said...

Whether Goth or not, I can't help but love Emilie's music. I've never seen her live, but hoping to catch her at next year's Castle Party (she's not confirmed to perform there, but there's a chance she'll come). I heard she's a great performer.

Jayne_Jezebelle said...

I WANT to like her, I mean, by all accounts her look and music fit my interests perfectly, but...I can't really get more than "ehh" about it. I do enjoy the "punktorian"/deconstructed victorian look, as well as much of her music, but she's so damn pretentious. She's also been catty to fans, lied about ridiculous things like being related to Alice Liddell, and created a fad of pretending to be insane to be "edgy" (I'm well aware that she herself actually has Bipolar disorder).
So these things tend to just irritate the crap out of me instead of let me enjoy her music.

Nox Artemis said...

Yeah. I also fall into the "mixed feelings" category when it concerns Emilie Autumn. When I was a babybat, I was so crazy about her, but my interest in her dwindled as I got into a wider range of goth and industrial music. But her music isn't the reason why I started thinking otherwise about EA. I won't start some big thing on here by giving all of the details about why I think the way I do about EA, but I do think that the general attitude that a musical artist carries can affect how you listen to them.

And, like CatacombKitten mentioned in her article about EA, a portion of her fanbase is just crazy (example? A lot of the fans only have bipolar disorder because - whaddaya know? EA has bipolar too). Plus, I always equated EA's music to the symphonic gothic metal fanbase more than the actual goth rock or industrial music fanbases, but that's just my observation.

Florentina said...

Up until recently,I've kind of been avoiding EA.This is because normally anything under the 'goth' tag that is recent and very popular normally kinda sucks(not to mention her fan base is annoying as hell).That being said I actually really like her music,and its a shame I'm just now listening to her.

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