“(Back’s) charming sensibilities, excellent structuring and arranging, as well as her ability to confound emotionally will likely bring listeners back for repeat encounters.” (Jordan Adams, Seven Days VT).
Avant-folk singer-songwriter violinist Emma Back uses a loop pedal to create lush layers of percussion and harmony, accomplishing a sonic and poetic lyricism that reaches deep into the past and far into the future simultaneously. Back is known for her intimate concerts in living rooms, art centers and other “alternative” environments where she leads audiences to reflect on world issues and personal challenges while simultaneously celebrating the beauty and joy of being alive. Her dynamic, multi-dimensional performance features vocal percussion, haunting melodic storytelling, jazz and klezmer inspired violin riffs and harmonic influences ranging from Eastern-Europe to American Roots.
Back has a background in classical violin and voice and has been performing since the age of seven. She grew up in rural Vermont, falling in love early on with Balkan and African music through her exposure singing with teen world-music choir, Village Harmony. After a brief time spent living in Paris, Back returned to the US to study Avant-Guard improvisation, composition and vocal performance at Naropa University, releasing her E.P “C’est Nous” as her BA thesis project in 2011. In 2014 Back moved back to Vermont (where she currently resides in Burlington) to continue work on her debut full length record. Little World, released in 2018 is a ten-track album produced by Colin McCaffrey. This collection of songs deals with global conflict and other social issues, with an emphasis on universal healing and transformation through the act of bearing witness to other’s suffering and facing one’s own inherited prejudice and inner demons. Little World “soars on the strength of Back’s stunning vocals, sparse and compelling instrumentation, poetic lyrics and a captivating sound that conjures such singular artists as Andrew Bird, Rhiannon Giddens and Tori Amos while standing tall on its own unique merits.” (Tom Huntington, The Times Argus).
In addition to her performing life, Back is the founder of She Sings Out Loud, an organization that supports female-identifying singers, public speakers and performing artists in finding authentic expression onstage while healing from culturally inherited patterns and personal blocks around being seen and heard.