An American songwriter living in London, Emily Moment spent much of the 2010s championing Americana music in the UK — not only as a member of acclaimed bands like The Savannahs and Mahoney & The Moment, but also as one of the organizers behind the long-running concert series Chalk Farm Folk. Originally launched as a monthly residency for Emily and her longtime collaborator, Steve Mahoney, Chalk Farm Folk quickly turned into a monthly showcase for roots music of all stripes, bringing free multi-band shows to a legendary music venue in Camden.
For Emily, Chalk Farm Folk wasn't just about the music. It was about the communal circle of artists and fans who showed up every month. "It's where we met most of our friends today," she explains. "It became such a strong community." A similar kind of supportive spirit fuels The Party's Over, a collection of literate Americana ballads and gentle folk songs that mark Emily's first solo release in nearly a decade. Recorded with collaborators she met during Chalk Farm's six-year run, it positions Emily not only as a rallying force, but as a force worth rallying around, too.
Born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Emily left her mark stateside before heading to England in 2012. She was a member of New York City's anti-folk music community for years, cutting her teeth at iconic venues like Rockwood Music Hall and The Sidewalk Cafe between gigs as a working actress. By the time she left town, she'd built a network of personal champions that included songwriting legends like Elvis Costello, who featured the singer on the cover of his album Cruel Smile.
Ten years separate Emily Moment's solo debut, Never Enough, from The Party's Over. During the interim, she whittled her skills to a fine point, appearing on BBC One as a member of alt-country harmony group The Savannahs and releasing three collaborative LPs with Mahoney & The Moment. Her voice — lilting one minute and elegant the next, laced with a quick vibrato that recalled the Greenwich Village folk singers who filled New York's coffeehouses decades before her — was always a show-stopping instrument. But it was her songwriting that truly made her different.
The Party's Over puts that songwriting on full display. Filled with references to literary masters like Murakami, Bukowski, and Joan Didion (all of whom are thanked in the album notes), it's an album about hitting a wall — about coping with life's physical and mental struggles when it seems as though things can't possibly get any harder. Many of the songs were inspired by Emily's time working at a counseling center, while others find her mixing autobiography with unique character studies, tackling supplementary themes like the universal struggle to find a sense of home, happiness, and belonging. "Santa Maria" is a waltzing, western-inspired folksong about migrant caravans, delivered from the perspective of a mother who's nearing the end of her journey. "Josephine" is a barn-burning blast of bar-band blues, laced with harmonica and thick harmonies. The sparse shuffle of "The Angel's Share" finds Emily weighing the comfort of a stable relationship against the freedom of the single life, while "The Bottom" is, as she explains, "a happy song about depression." Throughout it all, Emily pulls triple duty as the album's producer, front-woman, and multi-instrumentalist.
One of the final albums recorded at Urchin Studios — the London-area studio where Laura Marling tracked Short Movie several years earlier — The Party's Over also features a cameo from Marling's drummer, Matt Ingram, and mixing from Dan Cox (Laura Marling, Tom Odell, The Staves). On an album filled with heavyweights of London's folk-rock community, though, it's Emily Moment who confidently fills the spotlight. She's an unsung hero of the genre, and The Party's Over marks her overdue inauguration as a transatlantic troubadour.