FOR the last few months the UK has been a sea of red, white and blue as the nation has celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee and anticpates the start of the London 2012 Olympics and one lady who is happy to embrace the theme for the launch of her debut single is Berwick’s Anna Emmins aka Electric Penelope.
Her act has taken on a number of guises since coming to life a few years ago. It started as a solo project involving just Anna and then developed into a four piece band but now Anna is flying solo once again and has a renewed enthusiasm to move things forward at a steady pace.
And she’ll need all of this vigour as she readies herself for a busy few months which will see her launch her album in The Maltings main house theatre in October and release her single ‘Trafalgar Square’ on Saturday, July 21.
A London girl herself, Anna didn’t need to look to the TV or film for inspiration for the song dedicated to England’s capital city and she told The Guide, whilst it’s not necessarily the song she’s most proud of it’s established itself as a firm fan favourite.
“It’s about a friend of mine in London,” she explained.
“I grew up there so it’s me reminiscing about being a teenager there and the experiences we had.
“I’ve written the rest of the album in this past year but I wrote ‘Trafalgar Square’ about two years ago.
“When it came to deciding on a single I went through all of my songs and it was one that stood out because its particularly catchy. It’s not really my favourite but it’s the one people tend to remember from gigs. And I thought it would be perfect timing to release it between the Jubilee and the Olympics- hopefully people aren’t sick of all the patriotism and red, white and blue just yet.”
While it was clear to see that Anna was full of excitement about what the rest of the year has in store for her she happily admitted that the decision to go it alone once again was one that did give her a few sleepless nights.
“The band kind of came to a natural end, they were finding it increasingly difficult to commit whereas I just really wanted to get on with things!” she continued.
“We hadn’t done much gigging or rehearsing so in January I decided to go solo and just plough forward.
“But for the first month or so I had this horrid feeling of being completely on my own and coming to terms with what I had to take on. That was quite a big mental hurdle to get over but once I got over it I knew I wanted to get on with my music big time.”
And that’s exactly what Anna has done, colloborating with friend and fellow musician Iain Petrie on her debut album at his studios in Berwick.
She said anyone who went to an Electric Penelope gig before Christmas would recognise the songs she had on the compilation but they should expect a different sound.
She continued: “Electric Penelope started off as a solo project so anyone who came to see me back then will recognise the pop, soul, funk sound that the album has.
“When we were a band the sound was a lot more guitar driven but I feel a lot more comfortable with how it is now.
“It’s been fantastic to work with Iain again - he’s very intuitive; recording the album involved us sitting there for hours adding different instruments in and putting different riffs in.
“Even though I don’t have my bandmates around me anymore I wanted to have the full sound there and when I launch the album it will be a fully orchestrated performance- there’ll be strings, trumpet, backing singers etc.
“I want people to hear the album then come along to the launch and recognise the sound.”
Now doing everything on her own, Anna has also been busy on the marketing side of things, doing photo shoots and even designing t-shirts! “It has been a lot to do but fortunately I’ve got help around me.
“I worked with Sarah Chapell on the photoshoot for the single and I had the idea of going for the Britannia look. There’s obviously the whole patriotic thing going on at the moment so I felt it was a good, strong image to go for.
“When it comes to my album I’m going to London for a photo shoot and I’m going to get my brother, who has just completed a degree in graphic design, to help with the cover!”
To download ‘Trafalgar Square’ visit www.electricpenelope.com.