EMMA MORTON & THE GRACES
Emma Morton & the Graces is the new project led by the Scottish Singer-writer alongside guitarist Luca Giovacchini and Drummer Piero Perelli. They are preparing to release their new album Bitten by the Devil which explores the notion of ‘“beautiful contaminations‘ — “Our sound offsets the sweet tones typical to my Scottish musical heritage with our shared passion for Afro-American music, in particular blues, jazz and soul. These distinct influences provide a backdrop for monomythical stories; the shady prosody of daily life is brought alive through the use of folkloric tropes that give voice to the mystical and the sublime.
Their debut album “Bitten By the Devil” which will be released later this year, takes you on a visual and sonic journey, where the ultra-violent conflict between imaginary heavens and hells, between love and hate, past and present, life and death is exposed and dissected, purified and celebrated. The darkness rooted in our past and present-day lives unites with the shimmering planes of exotic worlds and foreign soundscapes, which have been sparking our desires and imaginations through cinema screens and old record players since our youth. Twangs of country, folk and jazz, accompany confessions of regret, contaminated love, revenge and desire, which are told through twisted mouth and in East Lothian dialect. Some of these songs were spurred to life through dreams and nightmares, but the villains, Gods and devils you will come across in the album are definitely very real.
The band’s core members Emma Morton, Luca Giovacchini and Piero Perelli, met each other within the Tuscan Jazz Scene and have been performing together in different projects since 2012. This album project came together last year after the band gave an Amatrice Relief concert in the days following the earthquake. “As a band we felt compelled to respond to the overwhelming sense of solidarity present in Italy at that time and for the concert we chose to perform a repertoire of songs which had at some point in our lives allowed us to access the beauty of even our darkest fears, let us weep at the spectrum of our humanity. Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, T-Bone Burnett and Nick Cave were some of the artists on that repertoire. I abandoned all notion of my voice being an instrument that evening; sound became secondary to words which I instinctively sung in my spoken dialect. Together with Luca’s choice of pedals and haunting Jazz Master and Piero’s vintage drums we found our sound and a new collective identity which became Emma Morton & the Graces. When we play we each have a voice, our experiences and our identities meet, confront and console each other. There is an intimate interplay which I’ve never experienced with other musicians quite like I have with Piero and Luca.
Emma Morton & the Graces are a confident and experienced live band and thrive off the improvisation demanded by each audience’s unique energy: “They pull you into their evocative and mysterious world full of juxtaposing experiences of love and hate, fear and freedom… Emma’s roaming eyes and deep febrile vocals charged as though each performance was her last confession. She doesn’t hold back… neither does the band, who in three, thunder and roar as if they were in twenty” (Moodboard Magazine, 2017).
The band: Piero Perelli (drums), Luca Giovacchini (guitar) and Gabriele Evangelista (Double bass) have toured worldwide with artists like Dana Fuchs, Vinicio Capossela, Bobby Johnson, R.L. Burnside, Frank Frost, Sam Carr, Pianco C. Reed, Stefano Bollani, Enrico Rava, Maurizio Geri and Francesco Guccini in festivals such as San Javier Jazz (France), Bospop Blues (Germany), Mahindra Blue (India), Smukfest (Denmark), Django Reindhart Festival (France), Maxwell Street Blues Festival (USA), Ethno Jazz Festival (Russia) and Bayfront Blues Festival (USA).
Emma Morton’s ascendancy through the DIY music scene has seen her work gain increasingly high-profile recognition: beyond the mounting number of performances she’s chalked up on major television and radio stations over the last few years, Emma has enjoyed reaching top three in the charts, major radio plays, a publicity sync with Samsung and a number of collaborations and performances with international artists like Raphael Gualazzi, Olly Murs, Gary Lucas, Petra Magoni, Glen Hansard, and DJ Mollela. She also collaborates with diverse high fashion labels such as Pi-Quadro, Sergei Grinko and Edda Berg and has been profiled in magazines such as Vogue, Officiel, Vanity Fair and Glamour.