Boomkat Product Review:
"Stripped of partnerships both musical and personal, self-reliance became a survival technique for Scout’, following a period spent searching for liberation and emotional freedom. Over the course of 46 minutes and nine songs, ‘It’s Up To Emma’ simmers, storms and cascades through tales of domestic emotional crises, all of which are immaculately rendered in Scout’s distinctive songwriting style. The dark news that the record brings is good news for Scout’s fans, who look to her to get under the skin and, as if in a trance, live through these songs in an attempt to get everyone a bit of clarity. In Scout’s eyes, the slowly uncoiling spirit world dances with the more chaotic animal called man. Friction between partners generates gradual tension, a sudden fracture that explodes from a backdrop of darkly bruised ego blues. Meanwhile, stars slip icily in and out of constellation mode. It wouldn’t work if Scout wasn’t such a powerful
singer, or if her insistent guitar lines didn’t echo so, or her records weren’t so carefully produced to stand the stark details of the performance out against a lush, deeply black backdrop. From the get go, it seemed inevitable that wherever this record was made it was not going to follow the simple and usual process of old, where Scout and her drummer went in to play the songs live to tape in just a handful of days. With no sense of a partner in crime to back her up, it was time to rally the troops, with a total of three drummer friends taking turns to help stir the pot. The record started to evolve, but together with spit starts and unlucky luck, everything took a really long time and beyond the performances from a handful of talented players (Jose Medeles, Dan Wilson, Saunder Jurriaans, Danny Bensi and Emil Amos), there wasn't anyone around who could help Scout finish the record in the way that was needed. In the end, it was truly up to Emma to get the job done, at home, alone. From the point of view of listening to a record, it seems like a great decision. A lot of the emotion of trying and missing and then hitting it just right elevates the performances throughout ‘It’s Up To Emma’ to a dizzying intensity. ‘It’s Up To Emma’ is the first album from Scout since 2010’s ‘The Calcination Of Scout Niblett’, and her sixth album overall."