This week we feature Emily Jane White, whose dark folk-rock has caught the attention of national publications like Spin, Rolling Stone, and The Fader even though her debut album Dark Undercoat has only been out for a little over a month. The album warrants the critical response, as Undercoat‘s ten songs balance melody and minimalism in their relatively sparse compositions. That space gives the songs room to breathe and unfold, giving them a depth to match their ear-catching appeal.

A musician since preschool who spent time in a number of different bands during her time at UC Santa Cruz, Emily Jane White’s solo debut draws on a love of blues, old folk, and Americana music that’s particularly evident in her haunting voice. Lyrically, she sings songs drawn both from personal and political events, all filtered through a smart and poetic perspective. White is also a skilled pianist and guitar player, playing most of the instruments on the album. While she has played solo before, we learned during our interview that she has assembled a full band, which has resulted in the reworking of several songs for the live context.

We sat down with Emily a couple of weeks ago at The Bay Bridged Studio to discuss the new album, her musical background, and how forming a band has changed her sound. We’ve also included four songs from Dark Undercoat in the episode.

Emily Jane White and her band have several upcoming dates around the Bay Area in the next few months:

Tuesday, January 8th
The Stork Club
with Mariee Sioux and Almaden
8pm, $tba

Thursday, January 31st
Edinburgh Castle
with Lona Echo and Coal Beautiere
9:30pm, $tba

You can hear more from Dark Undercoat at Emily’s MySpace page and find out more info on her web site. The album is available from Double Negative Records and on iTunes.

Thanks for listening!

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As a bonus, check out two videos for songs from Dark Undercoat:

Emily Jane White – “Wild Tigers I Have Known”

Emily Jane White – “Dagger”