For ten years now, local musician Nicolette Emanuelle has been promising, friends, family, and fans a CD of the original material she has been performing in the Charlotte area since high school. Her friends suggested that she look into grant opportunities through local arts organizations to make her album a reality. Emanuelle’s research and persistence paid off, as she has now released her debut album, Pinafore. Independently released and largely funded by a grant from the Arts and Sciences Council of Mecklenburg County, Pinafore is proof positive of the quality of Charlotte\'s independent music scene.
Emanuelle received the grant money earlier this year, and while the songs on the album were complete by that point, for her it was only the beginning of an intense, six-month process. “Even I’d been performing all of the songs live for some time, getting them to sound just right on the album was the tricky part,” Emanuelle said. “I put too much of myself into those songs to not do them justice on the album.” During the recording process, Emanuelle worked closely with Jim Payseur of Lotus Studio in Charlotte, who shares a producer credit on the album.
Musically and lyrically, Emanuelle\'s hard work paid off; her CD is filled with songs that run the gamut from playful and punky to haunting and heartbreaking. Check out the gorgeous opening harmonies on \"Girl w/Amnesia\" or swoon to the gentle, jazzy heartbreak of \"Kisses.\" Crank up the volume for the piano bombast of \"Indescribable\" and \"To My Drunk Friends\" and then cool down with the lovely and shattering \"1 am.\" Emanuelle\'s songs are complimented nicely by the tasteful drumming of percussionist Laura Witkowski and two contributions from local tuba player Molly J. Brown, both of whom add texture and momentum to Emanuelle\'s sparsely beautiful piano melodies.
When performing live, Emanuelle is joined by ace Charlotte drummer David Kim (is there anyone that man doesn\'t play with?). In addition to songs from the CD, she peppers her set with unreleased original material, and the occasional unique take on a classic song - her cover of Nick Cave\'s \"The Curse of Milhaven\" is performed with a ferocity matched by few live performers. Emanuelle prides herself on the quality of her live performances, and it shows in the interplay between the drums and piano; neither musician misses a beat.