New York City native Emily Mure has journeyed from playing concert halls as a classically trained oboist to busking as a singer-songwriter on the streets of Ireland. Her third album,Worth (releasing September 22), brings together all of her rich experiences as a musical traveler, spotlighting both her technical ability and gift for vulnerable, heartfelt songwriting.
Recorded last winter at Dimension Sound Studios in Jamaica Plain, Mass., Worth blends Mure’s clear vocals with a variety of instruments – including strings, piano, organ, and ukulele. It also takes listeners through a complex collection of themes that aren’t always easy to mine, such as coping with anxiety, saying goodbye to one’s hometown, and learning to cultivate self-acceptance.
“Gaining the strength to face these challenges head on -- and for me, writing about them -- has been a personal journey of healing,” she explains. However, it’s Mure’s hope that the record will help others, as well. “Many of these songs are very personal, but I almost always write with others in mind. Perhaps if someone can relate to something I've said, it might offer some comfort knowing they're not alone.”
All the songs on the album were composed by Mure, save one cover, “As The World Falls Down,” by David Bowie; a tune she cided to learn when the icon passed in January 2016. Having already helmed the majority of violin and cello arrangements on Worth, she decided to try her hand at putting strings to this particular one. “Bowie was such an inspirational force,” Mure notes. “I re-watched The Labyrinth since it was one of my favorite movies growing up. When I heard this song, I remembered how much I loved it, and felt moved to pay homage.”
While she has no fear of tackling difficult subjects, Mure also has a soft touch with love songs, as evidenced by Worth’s “Already Are,” a composition she wrote for her husband as a gift on their wedding day. The song summarizes the enormity of recognizing love, building trust, and growing alongside another person. “This song was a realization,” she says. “The realization that for me, saying yes was accepting the unyielding love I’d had for him since we met all those years back. Writing it gave me a chance for several months leading up to our wedding to meditate on that love, and on how much he means to me.”
Mure co-produced the album with Dan Cardinal (Darlingside, Josh Ritter, Ballroom Thieves), with Zachariah Hickman (Josh Ritter, Ray LaMontagne) performing the majority of instruments on this record. Jeff Lipton (Andrew Bird, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver) mastered the album in Boston.
Mure’s songwriting, which she began cultivating during her years at Ithaca College, has been recognized in prestigious national competitions (Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival) and has been featured on networks including NBC, ABC and PBS. As a live performer, she has shared the stage with notable musicians including Darlingside, Joe Crookston, the Bones of J.R. Jones, and the Duhks.