Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton What Is Free To A Good Home?

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton What Is Free To A Good Home?

Ah, yes, the queen of loneliness, Emily Haines. How she does it we will never know. How can one be so well known — Broken Social Scene, Metric — and socially busy but when it comes time to sit in front of her piano, write such tear-jerking affairs? Her debut, Knives Don’t Have Your Back, stunned the ears of fans. Filled with depressing piano ballads, the songs were sturdy but not timeless. On her second release, what she calls a "companion piece” to that album, she seems just as sad. This isn’t a bad thing, however. Musically her ideas are better developed, with "The Bank” having jazzy blemishes and "Rowboat” featuring a romantic horn section, which was definitely the high point of her last album. She seems to have gained her hard-hitting lyrical abilities from her father, Paul Haines, who passed away in 2003. "Sprig” is a poem the author and music journalist wrote, and now Emily sets it to music. The result is a moody piece steered by an angry piano tone. The album is named after a different poem her father penned, which gives the idea this EP was cathartic, a way to honour her father. To lighten the mood the album ends with a remix of the best track off Knives, "Mostly Waving.” This EP is a must have for fans of all of Haines’s work, as it acts as a nice bridge between her sultry debut, the party dance rock of Metric and her organic, sunny BSS past. (Last Gang)