Photo: Joe Magowan

Emma-Jean Thackray confronts her depression on the ghostly jazz jam “Spectre”

Yorkshire-bred London-based multi-talent Emma-Jean Thackray recently shared the fantastic “Say Something”, the first song to be lifted from her forthcoming debut album Yellow. Today she returns with “Spectre”, and she says about it:

“Mental illness can devour a person from the inside, feeding on their joy, their passions, even their memories, and leave them to haunt the house like a ghost of their former selves. ‘Spectre’ is a means of catharsis.”

Underscored by a marching tuba, the imperious “Spectre” finds Thackray bravely battling the “spectre in my house… a black dog is haunting me.” While it seems like she’s alone in this battle, “Spectre” quietly but magnetically builds into a torrent of musical magic, with drums, keys, strings, and a choir of whimsical voices rearing up behind her, adding strength to her resolve as she faces off against her demons. While it starts from a place of personal anguish, “Spectre” once again proves both the power of the collective, and Thackray’s brilliance at arranging and leading a band.

Listen to the studio version of “Spectre” on streaming platforms, but we can also heartily recommend the live version below, which was recorded at The Church Studios in London’s Crouch End.

Emma-Jean Thackray’s new album Yellow is out on July 2 through Movementt (pre-order/save). You can find her on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She’s got these dates ahead:

11.07.21 – Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham, UK
13.08.21 – Middelheim Jazz, Middelheim, UK
20.08.21 – 22.08.21 – We Out Here Festival, Cambridgeshire, UK
28.07.21 – Colour Factory, London, UK 
16.10.21 – Wild Paths Festival, Norwich, UK
23.02.22 – Hare & Hound, Birmingham, UK
24.02.22 – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, UK
25.02.22 – Fiddlers, Bristol, UK
26.02.22 – Headrow House, Leeds, UK
27.02.22 – The Social, Hull, UK
02.03.22 – 24 Kitchen Street, Liverpool, UK
03.03.22 – YES, Manchester, UK
04.03.22 – The Sage, Gateshead, UK
05.03.22 – Broadcast, Glasgow, UK