Raised on a steady diet of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and The White Stripes, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Emma Citrine fuses retro folk with melodious, contemporary rock riffs. Having performed in venues throughout Vancouver such as The Railway Club, The York Theatre, The Media Club and The Biltmore as one half of the experimental two-piece project Leave, Citrine’s debut LP, SAD SURPRISE, is her most focused and furious material yet.
SAD SURPRISE was created within the walls of West Vancouver’s first and only recording studio, Four Destinations. Each track is colored by a certain unvarnished tenderness: a culmination of the intimacy, understanding and vulnerability Citrine has captured with her internal lens over the past three years. The versatile and collaborative journey of this Vancouver born songwriter weaves unvarnished emotion together with the raw vitality of indie music. Her sound crosses genres and will continue to provide assorted levels of musical and emotional exploration to the same listener at different times.
Emma Citrine's debut EP - Sad Surprise - was released in February 2017.
Currently planning things for the summer - check back soon.
Civiliana, Kyoto & Emma Citrine
The Biltmore Cabaret, June 3rd, 2017
Centennial Theatre Parking Lot & Skate Park, May 6th, 2017
The Echoes w/ Bryan Michael & Emma Citrine
The Roxy Cabaret, April 28th, 2017
Emma Citrine + The April Fools Childrenhood Dual CD Release Show
VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver; February 10th, 2017
2016 IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival
The Cultch, Vancouver; May 18th, 2016
"Just as Emma promises sadness, she also promises surprise. I’m cynical when it comes to promises, but Sad Surprise delivers. As I listened to the EP’s first single, “A Screaming (comes across the sky),” the unexpected melodies and chord structures startled me. I know this comment is a little on the nose, but I swear it’s the truth. The song starts off as a simple folk ballad, but as it unfolds, it reveals lush harmonies and complex melodies. Amongst swelling ambience, the tune heads one way and then swerves another. At times, Emma reminds me of local dream-pop group The Belle Game and everyone’s favourite main stage festival act, Beach House." Read more...
"Her reverb-bathed solo debut, Sad Surprise—which, despite its title, is anything but a downer—suggests that she’s not above ripping it up on a Saturday night. Things get off to a gunsmoke-and-whisky-blasted start with “Poor Boy, Blind Man”, after which Citrine channels the discordant beauty of the Velvet Underground with “Make War”.
Unleashing her inner torch singer for the hazy “A Screaming Comes (Across the Sky)”, she then proves she hasn’t forgotten her roots with the lovely folk comedown “Give Them Love”.
As official coming-out parties go, they don’t get much more self-assured." Read more...
"Sad Surprise is a strong six track release. The first single, “A Screaming (Comes Across The Sky) is a bittersweet tune with hypnotic music. The tracks “Poor Boy, Blind Man” and “Make War” are full out rock tunes, while “The Fall” is a dark brooding song. “Ledges” is more along the lines of folk roots. Having been influenced by The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Jack White, the songs on this album are as diverse as her influences.
All of the songs on Sad Surprise are well written and played with immense feeling, regardless of the different styles that this album are made up of." Read more...
"In essence a singer/songwriter, Emma Citrine tries on several musical overcoats throughout the course of this 6-track EP. At its heart is the intimate and emotive indie song “A Screaming Comes (Across the Sky)”, which boasts some hefty lyrics, such as, “He tells you to follow all the rules/Such proper language for an act so cruel”. Elsewhere Citrine takes on echoey blues (“Poor Boy, Blind Man”), mournful indie/roots (“The Fall”), and gentle folk (“Ledges”), but at all times she delivers killer lines with her heart on her sleeve." Read more...
"Reverb and folk meet in the first track, “Poor Boy, Blind Man,” Citrine getting down to business. There’s a somewhat rockabilly vibe to this assertive introduction, Citrine’s attitude cutting through the fuzz of the vocals and coming through in some killer riffs towards the end of the song. Some killer percussion and rapid-fire lyrics to match are next up with the aptly-named “Make War.” The deep-seeded regret that Citrine imbues into this sound is a contradiction, but shows a strength matched by her musicianship.
Her influence of the Stones and Hendrix are made clear in ‘The Fall,” a formidable tune with confrontational lyrics, its changes in pace leading the listener on a roller-coaster of emotional. The lead single off the album, “A Screaming Comes (Across the Sky)” holds back on the reverb, allowing no cover-up of the raw regret in Citrine’s voice. The song morosely wanders through soft folk-rock soundscapes, featuring a soft and subtle bridge that explodes into an emotive final chorus." Read more...
"This songstress does no harm and takes no shit.
Allow me to set the scene. Picture yourself in a packed venue: expansive white walls, high ceilings, dimmed lights, drumming so strong it makes your heartbeat sync with the rhythm. The seats are more than full and you’re sure it’s a fire hazard. Some attendees have to stand at the back of the room near the bar. Some dance. Some start recording videos for Facebook and Instagram Live to give their friends a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out).
At the front stands Emma Citrine, guitar sturdy and strong across her midriff. Her eyes are closed, peaceful, as she sways to the music in her flowing black ensemble. Something about this performance feels incredibly intimate, despite the aforementioned crowd.
Behind her is the band. Two guitarists to her left, one in a powder blue suit, the other in a grey hoodie reminiscent of something Ed Sheeran might wear. To her right, the bassist; long-haired in a cardigan and jeans. Behind her, the drummer wears a dress shirt and slacks. They all look like they belong in different bands, yet this motley crew fits in perfectly with the tone of the evening. Anyone can be themselves here, and the crowd is loving it." Read more...
"You've said that "a change of scenery can create inspiration". What places do you like to or would you like to write in?
I was born and raised in Vancouver, but I have traveled and spent large chunks of time elsewhere. I spent a number of months in California, North Carolina and Nashville, for example, but always find myself returning to the city from which I came. It would be nearly impossible to remove myself in a way that would allow me to see how I’ve been affected and shaped by the place I grew up in. That said, I’ve always found I draw an overwhelming amount of inspiration from the ocean – it is very grounding to me. When traveling, I love having the ability to experience the ocean from a new perspective, and this carries over to my songwriting as well. In the future I’d love to spend a few weeks in a small cabin off the grid somewhere, immersed in nature, and just start writing a record." Read more...