Hiya! Emma here.
I’ve just released my second album, Sowing Acorns. I’d say I’m a familiar face on stages around the country at this point, and my recent releases have managed to chart pretty nicely in the airplay and iTunes charts… But let me take you back a little to how I got here.
I grew up in a creative family who nurtured and celebrated my constant desire to perform… Until I almost lost my voice to vocal nodules when I was about 12.
My mother wasted little time in getting me to an ENT to see what we needed to do to remedy the situation – she saw how utterly miserable croaking my way through choir practice was making me, she knew I was in for a rough few year, possibly even surgery if it got worse, so we did what needed to be done.
I went song-less for a couple of years while I had vocal therapy and coaching and learned to respect my instrument and use it properly.
I think it’s important to share that starting point, as I have it to thank for being here now.
I was finishing up my undergrad degree in UL when I cracked out my guitar and a big fat folder full of song sheets in front of the late Lulu’s Cafe in Limerick City in 2013 – it was my first and only regular gig.
My dad sketching away in a corner was usually my crowd.
A nice man who, it turned out, was one of the most proficient and prolific pianists in Limerick at the time strolled by and suggested I check out the open mic at the Wicked Chicken on Thursday night. So I did. And that’s where I got booked for my first ACTUAL gigs, the types that paid money and involved using a microphone and having an audience.
In 2017 I got a Facebook message from Beoga’s Niamh Dunne: “Are you finished in college this summer? Or would you be up for taking a few weeks off work? We’ve worked with a German agent for the last 12 years and…” I got booked to play my first international tour – I signed the contract in March, and needed a full album recorded and printed by September in time to head off in October.
Sure feck it, to cut a long story short: thus Quiet Giant was born. Amid many sleepless nights while also finishing a thesis for my Masters degree at UL, I managed it. I took off on tour then in October, and despite staring at my own face in the mirror in shock most mornings over the last three years… I haven’t stopped to look back. And here I am, in the autumn of 2020, with an RTÉ Folk Award (2018) under my belt and a brand new second album just released…
Emma Langford hails from Limerick in the South-West of Ireland.
Since first bursting onto the scene in 2016 with a crowd-funded self-titled EP, she’s hardly taken her foot off the pedal, with an eye-watering ever-growing tour schedule and frequent collaborations up her sleeve.
The artist has received consistent praise from national and international media and audiences alike, with The Irish Times describing her debut album Quiet Giant (2017) as ‘music that weaves a spell as you listen to it… An enduring piece of work’.
Ireland’s state broadcaster RTÉ Radio 1 presented Emma with the Best Emerging Artist award at their inaugural Folk Awards in October 2018.
Emma’s “spell-binding” Quiet Giant features stunning full-band arrangements for 10 self-penned songs, and was released to great critical acclaim in late 2017. Following the album’s Irish release, she was invited to launch it internationally with Germany’s Irish Folk Festival tour.
Langford’s sound is made to be heard live, be it solo or with a full complement of musicians. She possesses a distinct natural tone and resonance that is truly breath-taking – and a razor-sharp tongue to boot. Her home-grown brazen wit and piercingly insightful lyrics have fused to produce the on-stage energy for which the young artist has become so well known at home and abroad.
Noted too for a vocal timbre which dances playfully among the nuances of “folk”; Emma Langford’s voice is at once defiant and ethereal; her lyrics insightful, yet loaded with wit and whimsy. Comparisons are often drawn in style and sound to artists such as Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones and Janis Ian.
In 2018 the self-made Limerick songwriter completed a whirlwind 100-date promotional tour across Austria, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland to launch the record, yet as she posits in her own lyrics:
“Is this all you want? Is this all you need?”
Langford has hit her stride and shows no signs of slowing down, with her second album Sowing Acorns receiving huge international praise, and glowing reviews from Irish radio and print media alike. 2020, in spite of a global pandemic, seems to be Langford’s year.
“I absolutely love her music, and the way she thinks… She’s someone I hope to work with myself one day.
I wish I’d discovered [her] sooner; now I have all this catching up to do!” – Janis Ian
“Emma Langford is a treasure in Ireland’s music scene” – Louise Bruton, The Irish Times
“Frida Kahlo once said that she painted self-portraits “because I am the person I know best”, as is the case with Emma Langford’s Sowing Acorns. An intimate portrait of an artist whose grasp on who and where they are now, flows through intricate, self-reflective songwriting, cathartic vocals and widescreen production” – The Last Mixed Tape
“sumptuous musicianship [lays] the perfect platform for Langford’s ever-beguiling voice & songwriting to shine” – Golden Plec