Emily Haines.

25 02 2012

My love for Metric could be listed as obsessive. I’m obsessed with music, so I don’t really see this as a bad thing. I’m also going to try my best to stick with this “Influential Women in Music” thing I started ages ago here..but sort of let it go. I have no idea why. I need to learn to stick at something properly. I’ll blame Writer’s Block, because that seems a more legitimate reason than just forgetting.

Writing about Emily Haines is going to make me happy because there are SO many reasons as to why I love her. She looks like someone you could just hang with and do dumb stuff with, but at the same time- you could hang out in a library with her and she’ll open your mind to a different world. I’ve been lucky enough to see Metric live, and it is one of the gigs I’ve been to that has firmly stuck in my mind. The room was cramped. You could touch the ceiling with your grubby sweat ridden mits, your body was wet with sweat and probably water, your throat ached from singing a long to every single word. I remember it as if it was yesterday. If only it was yesterday. It was a gig that helped with so much, as did interviewing them a few weeks before. It was just an experience that I needed, that partly saved me from losing my mind at the time. Fantasies came out and taught me about survival. It was Blindness that did it. Nobody will ever fully get what that song meant to me then, and it still does now. I told Emily, and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off. It’s the main reason why I cannot write-up the interview because the subject matter of the interview..it is just entirely personal. She made me feel like I was talking to a long-time friend, you know? It was easy but at the same time a bit painful. But it is something I hold so dear to me.

Emily Haines looks so gentle, like her voice. The way she moves on stage is the opposite. Her lyrics on her solo work are much more delicate than that with Metric. I’d never pick what I loved the most, I love both equally. Knives Don’t Have Your Back is one record that I feel I cannot go a day without listening to- which is also how I feel about Live It Out by Metric. Her words (solo and Metric) just read like perfect poetry. Which is no surprise as her dad was the amazing poet, Paul Haines. I feel that her solo work portrays Emily’s mellow side that  can calm the wildest of personas. Then you have Metric. Metric give you that loud, unashamed freedom. You shake your body, lose your shit- you just go mental listening to them. Any song from Stadium Love back to Empty, you just allow your body to flail madly out of control. And why must you always have control of what you do? Let go. Emily’s lyrics can teach you to let go. From a break-up, to leaving a life behind that you just cannot handle anymore (I feel this right now more than ever) her words just ease all the tension and trauma you feel inside. I’d be lost without it.

There are so many females in music right now that could learn so much from the likes of Emily and Alison Mosshart (I could list many more but..) Emily has this stage presence which makes you feel like she is encouraging you to start your own kind of riot in the crowd. Not a bad one. One that means you just make a load of noise, spread the love and have a good time.

I know I’m probably mentioning her solo work more than Metric or Broken Social Scene work, but her solo work is so haunting. Her and a piano is truly one of the best things in life.  It just makes you feel right, you know? It does something to you. It takes you to an untouchable place. It is just you and Emily’s voice. The fragile voice she has covers you in goose-bumps. Your limbs become weak and talking seems too much. You want to embrace all the silences in-between. Her voice is just beyond perfection.

What drew me in when I first heard Metric (Combat Baby was the first song I remember hearing) I was just in awe. A voice so calming over a riotous drums, bass and guitars. Surely not?! This cannot be real. Oh it was real. So very real. “No one here wants to fight me like you do.” Her tormenting lyrics sung in the most playful manner imaginable just lured me in, there was no way I could have stopped it from happening, and why oh why would I want to? That’d just be silly.

You know, finding a Metric fan is hard. I know about two people who like them. It is pretty sad because Metric are such an incredible band that have put out solid records constantly. The new record, I firmly believe will be as stunning as previous. I cannot wait for it- and a tour too. There are so many layers to Metric’s music, but with Emily’s solo material it is so simple. Seeing these sides to her way of making music goes beyond being inspirational. However, regardless of who she is making music with her lyrics always seem to hit you right in the heart. This is due to her evidently writing from the heart. I cannot listen to music that doesn’t seem true- to the heart and to the self. I don’t want to hear anything that doesn’t sound genuine. Emily Haines manages to make you smirk with her sometimes sexually charged lyrics, then straight away you feel your heart is going to fall to pieces with the sheer honesty she pours out. There’s just no way humanly possible that you can deny how important and influential she is. Those that know of her, know how true this is. Maybe the new Metric record will cause you to finally pay attention to all you’ve been missing.

“What it is and where it stops nobody knows,
You gave me a life I never chose.
I wanna leave but the world won’t let me go.”



5 responses

10 07 2012

Count me in as fan number three. I want to say so much to this like ‘ YESSSSSS!’ and ‘FINALLY SOMEONE GETS IT!’ but im at work and the scream turns to a yawn…

I will say i would love for her to come out with an album that is all her work from Metric done only on piano. Beautiful idea. As that’s how it’s written originally anyway.

Anyway, im glad there are others that get it.

10 07 2012

Oh you should ALWAYS declare your love for Emily anywhere and all the time haha. It’d make the world more loving, hopefully. I’d love for Metric to just do a stripped back record..it’d be so beautiful wouldn’t it.
Take care xx

10 07 2012

I hang around a group that obssess over Emily Haines and Metric. You are not alone. I too found Metric out of a blurry mess of junk radio. Then, like the sound of a dove, there it was. I’ve never looked back either, and my Ipod always has a minimum of 5 tracks of Metric, even when i’m cleaning out the Neil Young or the Red Hot Chili Peppers to refresh my chi. Sing on Emily, sing on. I can hardly wait to meet you.

10 07 2012


2 08 2013

I can relate to what you said here. Emily Haines and her band Metric deserve much more attention. They’re fantastic.

I recommend you to check also all Emily’s collaborations (if you didn’t yet): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Haines (a list is here near the bottom of the page)

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