Label: Close Harbour Release date: Out Now! Buy: Amazon I'll start off by exerting my love for Miss Lilly Allen. This proclamation exists only to contextualise my utter miserablism towards copycat songstresses who continually rip of the cockney femme fatale; pissed off chicks concocting a little fragility with melody and an English accent. The Allen mix. Wow, that was wordy. So needless to say I approached the debut album First Love by London’s newest anti-folk starlet Emmy the Great, in the same way I approach any emerging lurvy, with well… a little justified caution and 'expect the expected' attitude. I was wrong. To quick to judge. Point taken. London’s new sweetheart is just what is needed from the female opus: a refreshing blend of literary denouement and haunting melody ala Joni Mitchell. Lord how I’ve missed a little captivation. ‘We Almost Had a Baby’ emerged my firm fave, delightful percussion and aloof vocals; it’s destined for hipster-movie soundtrack status despite its unfortunate post-Juno timing. The title track 'First Love,' is restrained chick-scorn controlled by religious yet whimsical rhymes that set it aside from Allen's style: pissed-on graves, blue skies and Hallelujah-homage to Leonard Cohen, an obvious influence throughout the album. Whereas, ‘Easter Parade 2’ is just orchestral loveliness that's neither pretentious nor too caught up in the randomness of being random, which most anti-folk quirkies are guilty of. A little bummed the bside for 'We Almost had a Baby,' ‘Short Country Song,’ didn’t make the album cut, it’s super-catchy and although it dabbles in haphazard subject matter - porno mags and ice cream - I was hooked and enjoyed a little dip in mainstream twee. Bookish and lyrical, yet never too pompous this album is as enchanting as the new sounds of Zoey Van Goey and Arab Strap-era Belle and Sebastian. Never humdrum, never imitating, never Lilly Allen. Rating: 8/10 MP3: Emmy The Great - We Almost Had A Baby