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 (September 2017), brings together all of her rich experiences as a musical traveler, spotlighting both her technical ability and gift for vulnerable, heartfelt songwriting.
Recorded 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 decided 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 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.
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 also frequently collaborates with other artists. Mure spent time in 2017 opening for, singing harmonies with (and sometimes playing oboe for) notable musicians including Joe Crookston, Elizabeth and the Catapult, and The Bones of J.R. Jones.