Discovering Emilie Autumn



Emilie Autumn, Courtney Love’s “anarchy violinist”, returns to the stage and is keeping the spotlight all to herself. Fresh off the road as Ms. Love’s touring bandmate, Emilie Autumn’s devilishly dark lyrics and industrial-strength voice reinvent “gothic” for us all.

I’m notorious for avoiding things that people over-hype: I didn’t read Harry Potter for years because of its massive fan-base, I usually ended up hating movies that got bitten by the hype bug, and don’t even get me started on pop music.

So when I had five different people who had never met each other all individually recommend that I listen to Emilie Autumn, I was dubious to say the least. But I’m a little more open minded than I used to be; I’ll give it a listen before I say I hate it.

On first listen, I thought I really was going to hate it. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. The YouTube video I hunted down even had the lyrics kindly synched to the music, so I read as I listened. Definitely not what I expected; Gothic Lolita started with a tinny music box intro that immediately had me intrigued. The following beats made me think of the Goth club I frequent, and the harsh, homicidal lyrics laced with pedophilic accusations made me sit up and listen through to the end.

Emilie Autumn is definitely not someone you can judge on first listen. Her voice ranges from sweet and soothing to intensely angry and raw. She’s fantastic to play loud and obnoxious-like. But the really stunning thing about Emilie is that she is a musical genius. A child prodigy violinist, a classical musician, a veritable source of total envy on my part; to hear her making this amazing clash of gothic, classical and industrial sounds that somehow fuses into a perfect execution of musical talent is wholly satisfying.

Since listening to her whole discography, I’ve not only fallen in love with the music, but the lyrics too. Autumn has a skill with words that mixes badass girl attitude with the eloquent language you’d find in a turn-of-the-century novel. The word “Victoriandustrial” makes sense now, and Emilie Autumn is the genre’s defining sound.