Mistress of the velvet curtains, singer-songwriter Emma Dean owns the stage with eccentric, effervescent piano-driven pop. With slick vocals, mischievous lyrics, and a penchant for all things theatrical, Dean tips her top hat to cabaret. Yet, dancing along the yellow brick road between music and theatre, she creates a sound all her own.
Though she has been compared to Tori Amos (Ryan Brockington, NEW YORK POST) and Kate Bush (Patrick McKiernan, allgigs.co.uk), Dean proved her theatrical pop to be fresh, unique and in demand when NEW YORK POST named her “one of ten artists to watch in 2011.” Soon after, her single “Sincerely Fearful” worked its magic on the American music charts.
Once a guilty pleasure of the underground, Dean has emerged from the rabbit hole to win international acclaim at sold-out shows. Her diverse musical background and independent approach has seen her perform alongside Jesca Hoop (US) and Kate Miller-Heidke, and support Amanda Palmer (US), The Dresden Dolls (US), and Katie Noonan.
Dean received the Butterfly Club’s prestigious “Under Our Wing” award in 2010, joining rank with performers the calibre of Tim Minchin and Sammy J. She debuted her second solo album “Dr Dream and the Imaginary Pop-Cabaret” to sold-out audiences around Australia.
Then, in 2011, reviews fizzed with praise for her one-woman show “Stripped” at Melbourne Cabaret Festival and Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival.
The last two years have seen Dean take bold steps as a performer, treading the boards as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret” (QPAC). Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre’s first full-scale production was called “sultry and sophisticated” (Kelli Rogers, AUSTRALIAN STAGE) – a sinful success.
And in 2012 she took her electronic-pop-fairytale duo, Geppetto (with Jake Diefenbach) to Adelaide Fringe Festival and Melbourne Cabaret Festival, followed by an invitation to perform at The New York International Fringe Festival; one of a select few international acts to be invited. Shortly after returning, they released their debut EP, Into The Woods, recorded by Powderfinger’s Darren Middleton.
In 2013, Emma is still a performer to watch. In fact, she is calling New York home for most of the year, performing and releasing three new original digital EPs which vary dramatically from one another in sound and vision. Her first release, White, will be a collection of four off-kilter ballads about new beginnings performed on a Wurlitzer; Red, tells stories of love, lust and heartbreak, recorded on a grand piano with lush strings and dramatic vocal harmonies; and Black - recorded on a crunchy slightly out of tune upright piano - is a collection of dark, macabre songs from the underground.
With a few wicked surprises up her sleeve, whether stripped or draped in velvet, Dean captures audiences in thrall – and in rapture.
1. Last Night I Had A Hundred Dreams words and music by Emma Dean 2. Phoebe (With Her Whole Heart) words and music by Emma Dean 3. Beautiful Lies words and music by Emma Dean and Indigo Keane 4. Circus words and music by Emma Dean Arrangements by Emma Dean and Fronz Arp. Front Cover Design: By Ben Stewart