Emilie Autumn is a classically trained violinist who has worked with Courtney Love and Billy Corgan among others. As well as her music career, she also markets her own line of beauty products and has her own fashion label, the WillowTech House selling clothes and accessories like fairy wings. Indeed her personal style could best be described as "punk fairy" as she combines bright pink hair with corsets and big boots to produce a visually stunning image. Her music which she describes as fantasy rock is every bit as stunning too.
This album showcases a variety of styles that include a wide range of influences from classical chamber music to Celtic folk to danceable pop and indie rock. It's a tribute to Emilie's talent that she manages to blend all these diverse elements together to create a dazzling tapestry of beautiful songs. The fairytale/fantasy element works well without ever seeming whimsical or silly. I know Emilie has said on her Live Journal that she disliked her music being described as ethereal and whilst I respect her wishes, I think it's an apt adjective. I think ethereal in the original sense of fairies as queens and warriors, something so otherworldly as to be breathtaking. Emilie's music is tremendously catchy and rewards repeated listening with finding new parts to love. In some ways, she reminds me of Kate Bush (or even Tori Amos), female artists who were able to produce perfect pop songs whilst remaining innovative and combining a wide range of influences.
Unfortunately classical music does still tend to get a bad press but Emilie has managed to use these influences without compromising them or sounding anything less than modern. This mix of modern and timeless fairytale is echoed with the CD itself. You can download the entire album in full from Emilie's website but then artwork is a visual puzzle to be solved to win a prize of fairy goodies. I really recommend you check out Emilie. I think she has a great future ahead of her. Enchant came out in 2003 on her own label, Traitor Records and Emilie is currently working on the follow up, Opheliac, which I can't wait to hear. Apparently it will be somewhat darker in them with songs like Gothic Lolita and The Art of Suicide.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2005.
NOTE: This review refers to the original edition of Enchant. It has since been reissued.